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 four years as NCAA Division II members and Conference Carolinas, with Tornado student-athletes achieving tremendous levels of success both on the field and in the classroom.
For the 2014-15 academic year, a record leading 471 Tornado student-athletes were named to the Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll for the fall and spring semesters combined. A total of 251 student-athletes ended the year with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, with 132 of those earning a 3.5 or higher. Of the 25 Tornado varsity teams, 17 finished the year with a 3.0 or higher cumulative team GPA.
In addition, five student-athletes were named Conference Carolinas Academic Athletes of the Year for their respective sport, and the Tornado had 59 student-athletes named to Conference Carolinas All-Academic teams. The Division II Athletic Directors’ Association awarded 79 King student-athletes with their Academic Achievement Award, for juniors and seniors achieving a 3.5 GPA or higher. King also had six Capital One Academic All-District and one Academic All-American in 2014-15.
On the fields and courts, the Tornado were equally successful during the 2014-15 year. The women’s cross country team won their third consecutive Conference Carolinas championship, while women’s volleyball won the Conference Carolinas North Division, giving King a total to 11 conference championships over the past four years. In addition, Ross Maietta won the Conference Carolinas men’s golf individual championship.
Women’s volleyball, men’s cross country and men’s and women’s golf each finished as runners-up at the Conference Carolinas postseason championships, while Justin Newring qualified for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the 200 meter dash.
For the fourth straight year, King finished third in the Hawn Cup Standings, Conference Carolinas All Sports trophy, behind Limestone and Mount Olive, and captured its third consecutive Blue Ridge Cup, the all sports competition with rival Lees-McRae.
The King women’s wrestling team repeated as national champion in both the NWCA Dual and WCWA National Championships, boasting four individual national champions, three runners-up and 13 WCWA All-Americans.
The cycling program also continues to make a splash regionally and national, placing fourth at the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships and third at the USA Cycling Collegiate Cyclocross National Championships. At the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, Jennifer Caicedo won her first individual national championship in the road race.
Eight Tornado teams won the Conference Carolina Mini Messick awards for sportsmanship in 2014-15. Baseball won the award for the second consecutive year, and third in the last four years, while women’s soccer also won the award for the second consecutive year and women’s basketball and men’s indoor track and field picked up their second award in the last three years. Men’s basketball, men’s tennis, softball and men’s volleyball each won the award for the first time in 2014-15.
In addition to leading the Tornado athletic program, Hicks has remained active on the regional and national level in college sports. He currently serves as the chair of the Conference Carolinas Student-Athlete Affairs Committee, and this year was appointed to the NCAA Softball Rules Committee. He serves on the Division II Athletic Directors’ Association (D2ADA) Board of Directors, as well as serving on the D2ADA Regulatory Advisory Group, which works closely with the NCAA Legislative Committee on potential new legislation. This fall he will begin a term on the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Advisory Committee for women’s basketball, and from 2012-2014, he served on the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Advisory Committee for softball.
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, and he coached 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, age 16, Daniel, age 13, Stephen, age 11, and Luke, age 8.