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 two years as NCAA Division II and Conference Carolinas members, with Tornado student-athletes achieving tremendous levels of success both on the fields and in the classroom.
For the 2012-13 academic year, Tornado student-athletes maintained a 3.09 cumulative GPA, with a Conference Carolinas-leading 413 student-athletes named to the Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll for the Fall and Spring semesters combined. A total of 242 student-athletes posted a 3.0 GPA or higher, with 159 of those earning a 3.5 or higher and 29 with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Of the 24 Tornado varsity teams, 16 posted a 3.0 or higher team GPA.
In addition, four student-athletes were named Conference Carolinas Academic Athletes of the Year for their respective sport, and the Tornado had 55 student-athletes named to Conference Carolinas All-Academic Teams. The Division II Athletic Directors’ Association awarded 74 King student-athletes with their Academic Achievement Award, for juniors and seniors achieving a 3.5 GPA or higher.
On the fields and courts, the Tornado were equally successful during the 2012-13 year, continuing on the excellence from 2011-12. Women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, women’s outdoor track & field and softball all won Conference Carolinas championships, bringing the total to seven conference championships over the past two years for the Tornado.
Women’s golf, baseball, and men’s cross country each finished their respective seasons as runners-up in Conference Carolinas, with men’s cross country finishing third at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship and earning a bid to the NCAA National Championships, where they finished in 27th.
For the second straight year, King finished third in the Hawn Cup Standings, Conference Carolinas All Sports trophy, behind Limestone and Mt. Olive. In the inaugural all sports competition with rival Lees-McRae College, the Tornado brought home the Blue Ridge Cup in convincing fashion, losing a total of just 4 competitions to the Bobcats all season.
The King women’s wrestling team continued its tradition of excellence not only in the United States, but internationally as well. The Tornado finished in third place at the WCWA National Championships for the second consecutive year, led by two national champions, three runners-up and 15 All Americans.
Internationally, the Tornado racked up a total of 8 individual medals against the top female wrestlers in the world, as members of Team USA at the Junior World Games, Senior and Junior Pan Am Games.
The cycling program also continued its recent success, following up last year’s fifth place finish at Collegiate Nationals with the Tornado’s first-ever Southeast Collegiate Cycling Conference championship. Despite several wrecks and mechanical failures, the team also hung on for an eight place finish at Collegiate Nationals.
The Tornado complemented their success in the classroom and in competition with a solid record for community service as well. For the second 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. During basketball season, the King Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) raised over $2,400 for the Make A Wish foundation, achieving a goal of sending a local girl and her family to Disneyworld.
While they were winning, succeeding in the classroom, and being good citizens, Tornado student-athletes consistently proved they can win with class, as women’s volleyball, women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s indoor track & field 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 the All-SCAC team, including one SCAC Pitcher of the Year, while coaching 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, N.C.
He and his wife Cindy reside in Bristol with their four boys, Alex (14), Daniel (11), Stephen (9) and Luke (6).