December 7, 2012

AD David Hicks Blog - First Edition!

12/7/2012
Welcome to my inaugural blog!!  And I mean that – this is the first blog I have ever written!  I had a former pastor who used to say he’d “rather be flogged than blogged.” I’ve read a little about the details of a flogging, and it doesn’t sound fun.  So maybe that is why I’ve stayed away from blogs to this point in my career.

Nonetheless, I begin this venture, where you as supporters of Tornado Nation will be given some insight into the mindset of the Athletic Director. I don’t really know what topics I will choose, we’ll leave that open. Maybe you will think it’s entertaining and informative, maybe you won’t…but I hope you do, and I hope you will return to read them as often as they are posted.   Hopefully that will be 2-3 times per month, but we will wait and see. As I said, this is a new adventure for me!

We are also initiating an “Ask the AD” segment to the website. I’m not sure how that will work either…but the goal is to give our supporters and fan base as much insight into Tornado Athletics as possible. I may integrate “Ask the AD” and the blog, and just answer some of the questions here, who knows. This will be a work in progress, so stay tuned!

It’s 8 p.m. on a Wednesday night, and I should be in church, but I am using this time to catch up on some work, while my 13 year old son, Alex, sits at the table behind me finishing his homework. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen too often (missing church and Alex doing homework at 8 p.m.), but here I sit. Among the myriad of tasks I’ve been working on tonight include preparing for the upcoming interviews with the candidates for our head men’s soccer coach position, identifying potential student-athletes to attend a Conference Carolinas student-athlete retreat, organizing thank you gifts for our Faculty Associates who work with our athletic programs, and writing letters of recommendation.

In preparing for this blog, I started thinking of why each task I’d finished tonight mattered, and it didn’t take me long to realize why…because at the core of everything I did tonight was the wellbeing of our student-athletes. That is why I do what I do at King and what I have done the past 15-plus years, to impact the lives of young men and women and help guide them toward future success in any way I can. 

I need to find (with lots of help from others) the best men’s soccer coach so our soccer student-athletes will have a great experience at King and learn as much about life as soccer (and BTW – winning makes everyone’s experience better!).  The opportunity to send student-athletes to a weekend retreat is a tremendous opportunity for the student-athletes, and they will come back to campus and have an impact on their peers….so who are the best people to send? Who will not only benefit, but has the best chance of bringing what they learn back to King and impacting others with that knowledge? I had a very strong pool of student-athletes to choose from and it was not an easy decision!!

Everything we do at King is ultimately for the student-athlete. It’s what we are all about, and their well-being drives our decision. Maryland can join the Big 10 (or 12 or 14, whatever it is now) for the $24 million in revenue from the Big Ten Network, and that is a good decision for Maryland. But at King, we’re in Conference Carolinas because it’s the best place for our student-athletes to succeed, and contributes to an environment where they can succeed on the field, in the classroom, and in life. In every decision I make, and every decision our coaches make, our goal is to make the decision that is best for the student-athletes. We’re not perfect, and I’m certain at times folks may disagree with me or one of our coaches.  But I hope they trust that we truly have the best interests of the student-athletes in mind.  

Well, there is my first blog. I hope you enjoyed it and will come back for the next installment, who knows what you will learn!!   GO TORNADO!