John Hickman was an outstanding athlete at Washington High School. John participated in football, basketball, and baseball from 1949-1952.
Although he excelled at each of these sports, a particular honor he received as an invitation to the Pirates workout at Forbes Field.
John’s athletic prowess led to a full athletic scholarship to Arizona State University to play football. Remarkably however, John also participated in basketball. He was selected to the All-Conference team for football in his senor year, and posted a 21-9 record as a pitcher for the baseball team.
For his versatility and performance, John was awarded a lifetime pass to all athletic events at Arizona State.
Upon graduation, John signed a bonus contract to play with the San Francisco Giants, and was assigned to the Rookie League. This experience was short-lived as he was forced into very early retirement due to a back injury. This was really a blessing in disguise as it led the way for John to pursue his childhood dream; a career in teaching and coaching.
John’s coaching career began at Central High in Phoenix, Arizona. After 3 years he moved to St. Mary’s, where his football teams won back-to-back state championships. This success brought with it an interest from colleges for an inspirational young coach.
The College of the Holy Cross was John’s first stop, where he served as an Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator from 1968-1971. John’s aspiration to be a head coach led him to Boston University, where he served as the Offensive Coordinator from 1971-1976. It was at B.U. that John realized that his first love was still high school teaching and coaching.
This desire led John back to high school to teach and coach at Shepherd Hill Regional High School in Dudley, Massachusetts.
John’s full concept of the game, as a result of his college coaching experience helped as he led his team to several successful season, capped by the league championship, and the school’s only appearance in the Massachusetts State Superbowl.
John now resided in Dudley, Massachusetts with his wife, Lisa.