Since being named King’s director of athletics in June 2011, David Hicks has guided the Tornado through a period of tremendous success during King’s first three years as members of NCAA Division II and Conference Carolinas, with Tornado student-athletes achieving tremendous levels of success both on the fields and in the classrooms.
For the 2013-14 academic year, a Conference Carolinas-leading 424 Tornado student-athletes were named to the Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll for the fall and spring semesters combined. A total of 224 student-athletes posted a 3.0 GPA or higher, with 141 of those earning a 3.5 or higher and 39 with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Of the 25 Tornado varsity teams, 16 posted a 3.0 or higher team GPA and 21 had a 2.8 or higher.
In addition, seven student-athletes were named Conference Carolinas Academic Athletes of the Year for their respective sport, and the Tornado had 86 student athletes named to Conference Carolinas All-Academic Teams. The Division II Athletic Directors’ Association awarded 75 King student-athletes with their Academic Achievement Award, for juniors and seniors achieving a 3.5 GPA or higher. King also had seven Capitol One Academic All-District and three Academic All-America honorees in 2013-14.
On the fields and courts, the Tornado were equally successful during the 2013-14 year. The women’s cross country team won their second consecutive Conference Carolinas championship, while women’s volleyball team finished co-champions in the regular season, giving King a total to nine Conference championships over the past three years.
The women’s volleyball, baseball, softball, men’s basketball, women’s indoor track and men’s cross country teams each finished as runners-up at their respective Conference Carolinas Championship, with men’s cross country earning their second straight bid NCAA National Championships, where they finished in 29th place.
For the third straight year, King finished third in the Hawn Cup Standings, the Conference Carolinas All Sports trophy, behind Limestone College and the University of Mount Olive, and captured its second consecutive Blue Ridge Cup, the all sports competition with rival Lees-McRae College.
The King women’s wrestling team won a pair of national championships, bringing home both the NWCA Dual and WCWA team titles, along with four individual national champions and two runners-up. In total, 14 women’s wresters earned WCWA All-America status. Internationally, the Tornado continue to rack up individual medals against the top female wrestlers in the world, as members of Team USA. A total of 16 different individuals won a combined 24 medals as members of the Senior World Team, Senior Pan American Team and Junior Pan American Team.
The Cycling program also continues to make a splash regionally and national, capturing their second consecutive SECCC championship and placing fourth at USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals in May.
The Tornado complemented their success in the classroom and in competition with a solid record for community service as well. For the third straight year, over 100 student-athletes participated in the Storm Chaser mentoring program in Bristol City Schools. Tornado athletic teams were involved in over 18 additional community service projects, ranging volunteering with local organizations to raising money through fundraising activities.
While they were winning, succeeding in the classroom, and being good citizens, Tornado student-athletes consistently proved they can win with class, as the baseball, women’s soccer, and women’s tennis teams all won Conference Carolinas Messick Awards for Sportsmanship.
Prior to arriving at King in June 2011, Hicks spent 13 years at Rhodes College as assistant athletic director, and the last six years as head softball coach. As a coach, Hicks had a winning track record, having become Rhodes' all-time leader in softball wins in 2009 and earning career win number 100 in 2011. His teams averaged 27 wins per year over his last three seasons, making the SCAC Championship game in 2009. In his last four seasons alone, 37 players were named to All-SCAC, including one SCAC Pitcher of the Year, and nine All-Atlantic Region players. His teams maintained a 3.4 team GPA during his tenure, with 32 players making the SCAC Academic Honor Roll and 19 players earning NFCA Scholar Athlete awards.
Hicks earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 1995 where he was a four-year starter on the baseball team. He earned his Master of Arts in Sport Management from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio in 1996. Prior to his time at Rhodes College, Hicks worked in the athletic ticketing and marketing offices at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
He and his wife Cindy reside in Bristol with their four boys, Alex, age 15, Daniel, age 12, Stephen, age 10, and Luke, age 7.