About The Hilltop Club

Our History

The Hilltop Club was founded by Matt Quinlan (USF Law, 2004) and Philip Spiegel (USF, B.A. 1994) in response to the ground breaking 2021 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in NCAA v. Alston et al., which entitled college athletes to be compensated for use of their name, image and likeness (NIL). From that moment, it was clear that if USF Basketball was going to continue its climb back to national prominence, substantial NIL opportunities needed to be created and facilitated for Dons Student-Athletes.

Our Mission

The mission of The Hilltop Club is to support and facilitate NIL opportunities for USF Student-Athletes, enabling Dons players to fully leverage the NIL marketplace. This is critical to program success.

The funding of these NIL opportunities is done through individual contributions and corporate/business partnerships.

A robust NIL program can help elevate USF Athletics to a prominent national level of recognition and success by allowing USF to attract and retain great players who value their ability and opportunity to earn via their NIL.

Our/Your Club

Club members enjoy marketing and engagement opportunities with players, VIP access to players, coaches and the program, and social camaraderie amongst Dons die-hards. 

The Hilltop Club operates consistent with USF Alumni goals, reflecting the values and principles of USF and the San Francisco Bay Area community, and in compliance with current and future university, NCAA, state and federal policies and legislation.

The Hilltop Club is a San Francisco-based LLC. We are an NIL fundraising collective and while not formally affiliated with USF, we work in close communication with the USF Athletics Department, including USF’s NCAA Compliance Office.

Become a Hilltop Club Member!

Exclusive Events and opportunities to experience unique USF Athletics access

The Hilltop Club Founders

Matt Quinlan

Matt is a USF School of Law graduate (2004) with a passion for USF Dons’ Athletics. He’s a season ticket holder at War Memorial Gym for Men’s Basketball. He is excited to lead the charge in creating substantial and sustainable NIL opportunities for our student-athletes and was quick to understand what that could mean for our basketball program and USF more generally. Matt has strong relationships within the basketball program, as well as with current USF administrators and has called on those relationships to help quickly build out The Hilltop Club. Matt has a law practice in The Marina District (www.mjqlaw.com) and lives in Marin with his wife and three children. The Hilltop Club is a passion project for Matt. In addition to providing financial support, Matt volunteers his time and effort to The Hilltop Club.

“The Hilltop Club is changing the trajectory of modern USF Basketball.“ ~Matt Quinlan

Philip Spiegel

Philip Spiegel is a 3rd-generation native San Franciscan and a ’94 graduate of USF. A rabid USF Dons basketball fan, Phil recognizes the positive impact USF Athletics can have on the San Francisco community and is thrilled to further support USF Athletics with the creation of The Hilltop Club. Phil is the principal of PLEASE — a strategic management firm that unlocks latent commercial real estate value through the development and operation of successful hospitality ventures. Phil is on the board of the Salesian Boys’ and Girls’ Club and is a member of the Guardsmen. In addition to providing financial support, Phil volunteers his time and effort to The Hilltop Club.

The Hilltop Club Staff

Ryan Oppelt

Executive Director

Ryan is a Bay Area native and seasoned sports marketing executive with proven success managing nationally televised collegiate events at Levi’s Stadium and Oracle Park. Ryan blends his passion for connecting brands and fans to college athletics, with championing successful student-athlete NIL programs and partnerships.

Carli Thomas

NIL Development

Carli is a USF Sport Management Graduate (2013) from Healdsburg California. Carli’s commitment to Athletics at USF has stemmed not only from being a proud alumna but fundraising for USF Athletics and other university priorities for the past seven years. Carli hopes to connect with fellow and new alums, friends, and supporters of the program in a sustainable way to ensure progress and success for The Hilltop Club.

Join The Hilltop Club


Gold Member Benefits +

  • THC Custom Varsity Jacket
  • Invite to THC Private Dinner with Coaches and Players
  • Curated Student-Athlete NIL Experience

$10,000 + Contribution


Silver Member Benefits +

  • THC Exclusive Nike “SF Dons” Zip
  • Two (2) Additional Tip-Off Event Tickets (4 total)

$5,000 + Contribution


Bronze Member Benefits +

  • Two Tip-Off Event Tickets

$2,500 + Contribution


  • THC Exclusive “SF Dons” Cap
  • Invitations to Future THC Events

$1,000 + Contribution


The Hilltop Club strives to partner with USF alumni-owned and connected businesses, as well as other local and national brands through innovative NIL partnerships.

  • NIL Business Partnership Consultation
  • Traditional / social media assets + student-athlete partnerships
  • THC Benefits Consistent with Individual Membership Levels

$5,000 + Contribution

Not ready to become a member?

You can still support the Hilltop Club and Student-Athlete NIL partnerships with a one-time or recurring contribution!