Roland Walter Hicks
Getting a taste for coaching while working as a playground instructor during high school for the City of Brockton, “Rollie” Hicks graduated from Brockton High School in 1961 as one the school’s greatest all-time student-athletes in football, basketball and baseball. He then went on to the State Teachers College in Bridgewater (now Bridgewater State University) for one year before heading to Cape Cod to play basketball and baseball at Cape Cod Community College for Barnstable High hall of famer and then college basketball coach Bob Manning. Hicks also played Legion ball for the perennial state champion Brockton Post 35 American Legion baseball club and later, while playing for Cape Cod Community College, he signed up with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Hicks was offered a professional contract while with the Kettleers, but turned it down to pursue a career in teaching and coaching at Barnstable High School, a career that spanned four decades into the mid-1990s.For the Red Raiders, it was a blessing.Serving as an assistant football coach under three Barnstable High head coaches (Tom Daubney, John Cheska and Steve Goveia), Hicks’s career on the Red Raider gridiron spanned from 1967 through the 1974 seasons but it was in the spring of 1969 when he truly got the job he had always wanted: varsity head baseball coach. The first five seasons Hicks coached the Red Raiders were nothing short of spectacular, amassing a Capeway Conference Championship title in his first season at the helm (18-3/1969), Hicks’s win-loss record in his first five seasons was an astounding 80-27-1 or a .747 winning percentage.
When the dust finally settled on a brilliant high school coaching career in 1981, he left behind a 162-96-1 mark and it included the all-time record for most wins in a single season (18), a record that stood nearly a decade until Coach Dean Boger’s 1988 team set the new mark (20).The true mark he left behind once he finally hung the spikes up after the 1981 campaign, were his players. Such all-time Red Raider greats as Gary Miller-Jones… Art Pacheco… Dave Brodd… Bob Moore … Matt Dacey… Dave Liimatainen… and Jeff Taylor, to name a few.
An athlete’s-athlete during his formative years growing up in the big city, Hicks not once forgot where he came from when he stepped into the coaching ranks, but instead used that life to help the lives of so many, many more.
Inducted Into the BHS Athletic Hall of Fame, Nov. 29, 2014
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