Having devoted a lifetime to Ole Miss and to her student athletes as a community college and high school basketball and tennis coach, Sheila Hickman (BSHPE 77, MEd 78) has traded in her coaching whistle for a desk job, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still relish having a positive impact on students’ lives.
Hickman starred for the Rebel’s women’s basketball squad in the mid 1970s, and served as a graduate assistant for one year before moving on to Holmes Community College, where she coached for nine years.
She then returned home to Louisville high school, where she coached for more than 20 years. She reveled in the successes of her squads on the court, and in sending players to the collegiate level. There have been several, most recently Danetra Forrest (BA 08).
But while coaching athletically talented players and shepherding their careers to higher ranks is rewarding, Hickman says she is most proud of the players who have distinguished themselves in other ways.
“One of my goals is to play a part in developing these students into being complete people, helping them to make the right choices in life, and being a positive influence for them,” said Hickman.
“The players who didn’t have as much athletic potential but got the maximum out of it . . .those players are pretty special,” she said.
Now, as the assistant athletic director and instructional facilitator for Louisville High School, she might not have as much impact on the students’ athletic performances but she maintains an interest and impact in their lives.
“I have daily contact with the students but it is different being a full time administrator versus being a coach. The closer relationships you develop with the athletes is something I miss about coaching,” she said.
Whether it’s on the court or in an office, Hickman continues to make a difference. Hickman has actively served in the Ole Miss Alumni Association as a member of the athletic committee and serving a recently completed stint as president of the M-Club.