Cape track coach and teacher Tom Hickman, winner of the Silver Star for Valor in World War II for surviving five combat campaigns in the European Theater as a forward scout, died peacefully in his sleep Sept. 22 at the age of 92.
Speaking for all his athletes and students, I’d like to say, “Confound you, Hickman! Why couldn’t you live forever?”
Hickman was inducted into the Cape Henlopen Legends Stadium Ring of Honor on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend 2012, on his 90th birthday. There was no person who did more to bring the consolidated school district of Cape Henlopen together than Tom Hickman.
His track teams of the early 1970s were legendary, requiring two buses, often stopping at Argo’s Corner gas station and store on the way to weekend meets and filling up an entire bus with athletes from Slaughter Neck. There is no doubt Tom Hickman had a special place in his heart for the African-American community of the Cape school district, and they gave the love right back to him.
A Hickman homemade sign reading "Cape Henlopen State Track Champions 1971-72-73-74-75" stood in front of the former high school on Savannah Road in Lewes for years.
But it was all kids of all colors, athletes and all others, girls and boys, whom he taught in Driver Ed. Everyone loved Mr. Hickman.
A video of his Sunday morning Induction into Legends Stadium Brunch, which he predictably did not attend, not wanting to be the honored old coach, was inspirational as athletes from his era came to the microphone to give testimony of what Coach Hickman meant to them throughout their adult lives.
Tom Hickman was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.