Barry Hill’s outstanding accomplishments as a defensive back for the Iowa State football team are virtually untouchable. A three-year letterwinner, Hill excelled as a cornerback and safety for the Cyclones from 1972-74. The native of Delray Beach, Fla., set the bar for safeties in the Big Eight, breaking virtually every interception record in the ISU and Big Eight Conference annals.
Hill was generally regarded as the best athlete on the ISU campus after starring in football and basketball at Carver High School in Delray Beach, Fla. Hill was an all-state prep basketball player who turned down a scholarship offer to play hoops at Brown University.
Hill began his Cyclone career at cornerback as a sophomore in 1972 by picking off four passes to help the Cyclones to their second consecutive bowl appearance (Liberty Bowl). He followed that season with eight interceptions as a junior in 1973, tying ISU’s single-season school mark.
The record did not last long, however, as Hill moved to safety in his senior season in 1974. He led the Big Eight Conference and ranked second nationally in interceptions, picking off a school-record nine passes, a mark that still stands today. His incredible senior season earned him first-team all-Big Eight honors and All-American accolades, the only All-American safety in Cyclone gridiron history. He tied the single-game school record that season with four interceptions vs. Kansas to help ISU defeat the Jayhawks, 22-6, earning Big Eight Player of the Week honors.
In all, Hill recorded 21 career interceptions, which broke Iowa State’s and the Big Eight’s career interception marks. His 21 career picks is still a Cyclone school record and stands an incredible seven picks ahead of the No. 2 spot on the school’s interception charts. He tallied 157 tackles and two fumble recoveries in his three-year career. Hill is the only Cyclone to ever play in four post-season classics. After his senior year, he played in the Blue-Gray Bowl, the Lions’ Club All-American Bowl, the All-American Game and the East-West Shrine Game. He was a fifth round pick in the 1975 NFL Draft of the Miami Dolphins, playing two seasons and appearing in 20 games with the Dolphins before knee injuries ended his career.