The Grant County School District and Grant County High School Athletic Department is very pleased to announce the selection of Mr. Jim Hicks as Head Basketball Coach for Grant County High School and the district!
Mr. Hicks will follow the 13-year tenure of Mr. Ron Kinmon, who resigned his coaching position to pursue the opportunity to serve as Director of Operations for Grant County Schools. Mr. Hicks was picked from a field of nine candidates being interviewed for the position by two separate selection committees.
“We were most impressed with Mr. Hicks from the start,” states Mrs. Claudette Herald, principal at Grant County High School. “His knowledge of the game and his philosophy toward coaching were most noted and distinguished characteristics.” Mr. Scott Shipp, GCHS Athletic Director agrees. “Mr. Hicks brings a great deal of experience and proven ability with him. Our committees included administration, boosters, and community members. We are all quite satisfied he will be a tremendous asset to our school and to our basketball program.”
For Mr. Michael Hibbett, Superintendent of Grant County Schools, it was Coach Hicks’ fight and steady intensity that earned his nod. “No matter what area, I want Grant County students to be respected by their counterparts. I want whoever comes up against Grant County kids to know when it’s over that they’ve been in a hard-fought match. I think this coach brings that same expectation to the table.”
Mr. Hicks comes to Grant County having coached basketball for 10 years. His experience includes assistant positions at Campbellsville University, Scott County High School, and head coach positions at Owsley, Greenup, and Bath Counties. His philosophy includes intense skill building, work ethic, and accountability – both for himself and his players. “Everything I do revolves around player development. We spend a lot of time individually with players, developing their skills. Repetition is key to getting better, so I make sure every player gets the same access. We’ll practice six days a week, do weight training to build strength, and put a very strong, healthy, and physical team on the court.”
Mr. Hicks is originally from Harlan County, and most of his career has been spent in East Central Kentucky, but his stint in Scott County did much to familiarize him with the Grant County community and eighth region basketball. “There are a lot of positives here, and I am excited by the possibilities that exist with the Grant County Basketball program. I want to start from Day 1 building good solid relationships with the students, getting to know them, their parents, and the community. The first order of business will be establishing a good work ethic, and teaching them just how hard they are going to have to work for me!”
Ultimately, the goal for Mr. Hicks is to win district championships consistently and be competitive for regional championships. “We’ll prepare for this, and work hard for it every day.” But it’s not just his players who are in the game. “It’s my job to make sure the team is focused, prepared, and ready. I must be ready, personally, to do battle with the opposing coach, and I must be accountable to my players.”
So, what can we expect to see in the 2010-2011 basketball season? Mr. Hicks responds, “I can promise we will be fun and exciting to watch -- well worth the price of admission. We’ll have a good product on the floor, one of which the community can be very proud. My players will know I love them and care about them, and in return they’ll play hard, with heart and physical strength. You’ll see that in every game.”
Mr. Hicks’ quiet confidence is generated from a very successful track record, one in which in a single year he led his team to a district championship – the first district championship the school had experienced in 31 years. The next year, they were back-to-back district champions, which hadn’t happened in Bath County since the 1960’s. Also very important to him, three players in three years went on to play college-level ball. “The last player from Bath County to play college basketball graduated in the early Seventies. I was very pleased to see these students develop and earn this opportunity.”
Despite his love of the game, Coach Hicks isn’t all about basketball. In fact, it only ranks about fourth in his book. For him, being a Christian and his relationship with God is first, family second, school / vocation third, and only then the sport he loves. He adds, “Priorities are important, and will be an important part of what I will be teaching my students.”
One most important priority is Coach Hicks’ lovely wife, Mellanie. He had many nice things to say about his wife of three years, a music teacher hailing originally from Magoffin County. They are very excited to begin this new chapter in their lives together, here in the Grant County community.
The excitement will start May 12, with Open Gym and “Meet the Coach Night.” Following some time with his players, parents, and support staff, the community is invited to meet Coach Hicks and Mellanie from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. As for Coach Hicks, "We’re eager to be here and a part of this community," concludes Coach Hicks. “ I can’t wait to get started!”