Clinton science teacher and baseball coach John Hickman has sat in the same middle-school-sized school desk chair in the Maroons dugout for over 25 years as the baseball coach of Clinton High School.
It's a seat that's treated the Maroons' head man well in that time. A front row spot for five Sectional Championship appearances, several Okaw Valley Conference titles, and numerous skilled athletes that went on to incredible things at the next level.
In Coach Hickman's tenure, five players have gone on to play Division I baseball while numerous others have made the next level. He says each of those individuals had to work very hard to become the type of player that reached that level of success.
While many in the community know Coach Hickman for his baseball coaching, many more in the community and across the country know him for his teaching and impact in the classroom. As a biology teacher, Hickman says it was simply his goal to effectively teach students and get them to enjoy learning.
Many programs, including Clinton, have struggled to keep up numbers in their baseball programs. While it's not just baseball, Coach Hickman lays out some of the unique challenges facing youth baseball in America today.
Coach Hickman has compiled over 300 wins at Clinton High School. When the Maroons beat Argenta-Oreana 11-1 on May 3, that was Coach Hickman's 300th win.
Coach Hickman has a busy summer coming up with family milestones on the calendar but hopes when it all settles he might be able to give golfing a try and is hoping a chance to help coach at Millikin University might work out for him.