DURHAM, N.C. – Longtime NCHSAA supporter and past president of the Association, Richard Hicks passed away at age 75 following a short illness.
After coaching and teaching in Rocky Mount from 1968-1975, Hicks became the Principal, first at junior high schools in Rocky Mount and Orange County before moving to the post at Durham’s Hillside High School from 1986 until 2001. His tenure at Hillside saw him oversee the school’s move from a campus near NC Central to the current location along Fayetteville Street.
He was very active in support of education-based athletics and served as President of the NCHSAA Board of Directors in 1994-95. He was named the NCHSAA’s Bob Deaton Principal of the Year in 1994, a Distinguished Service Award winner in 1996 and he was a Special Person Award winner in 1997. He was a Region 3 Spirit Award winner in 1993 and was inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame in the class of 2008.
As an educator, Hicks was highly influential across the state, serving as a director of the Tar Heel Association of Principals, a visiting lecturer at NCCU and as a member of the North Carolina State Superintendent’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.
Hicks was an outstanding coach at Booker T. Washington High School in Rocky Mount where he coached football baseball and basketball. He was later moved on to be named the head basketball coach at Rocky Mount Senior High. He was the Head Coach for the East team in the Annual East/West All-Star game in 1974.
Hicks was a native of Rocky Mount where he coached UNC legend Phil Ford during his high school days. Ford played three seasons for Hicks during his high school career and told the Durham Herald Sun in an interview, “I thank God I had Coach Hicks in my life. I think being a great athlete and being a great student-athlete helped him to understand what I was going through.”
Hicks was an outstanding athlete and student at NC Central, quarterbacking the Eagles from 1959-1962 where he was honorable mention All-CIAA and a member of the CIAA Championship team in 1961. He has also been inducted in the NCCU Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife, Kathlyn Dudley Hicks, his brother, Russel Hicks, Harold Richard Hicks (Andrea), Russell Hicks (Cellosa) and Thomas D. Kimble, sons. He and his wife have five grandchildren.