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
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
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.