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Phyllis Hicks: National Fast-Pitch Softball Coach of the Year (2017-18)

By Hannah Wishart on April 16, 2019 coaches Print

The NFHS is proud to name Phyllis Hicks of DeSoto Central High School in Southhaven, Mississippi as the 2017-18 Fast-Pitch Softball Coach of the Year!

"The limelight of success illuminates the opportunity to serve and give back to the community in which you belong." - Phyllis Hicks, softball coach at DeSoto Central High School in Southaven, MS

The selflessness and commitment to her community that Coach Hicks passes along to her players is one of the many reasons that the NFHS is excited to name her the NATIONAL Coach of the Year for Softball for the 2017-18 school year! Way to go!!

School: DeSoto Central High School 

2017-18 Win/Loss: 22-6 | State Championships: 1

Coaching Highlights: Coach Hicks began the softball program at DeSoto Central in 2003 following her time as an SEC catcher for the Ole Miss Rebels. DeSoto Central was a new school and she began a varsity program with only 9th and 10th grade levels. She is the only person to have been head coach for DeSoto Central High School and the 2017-18 school year will be her 17th year. This past May (2018) her team won the 6A State Championship for Mississippi. Nearly 70% of her players have secured scholarships to play collegiate softball following high school. Annually one of her players represents the school for the Mississippi Coaches Association All-Star game. She has been selected as the coach for the All-Star teams as well.

In the summer seasons, she also coaches competitive softball programs for the 16U and 18U teams. They compete at the gold level in ASA as well as support USSSA tournaments.

Led DeSoto Central to 3 state championship appearances (2004, 2007, 2018), Led her team to 5 north state-championship appearances (2004, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2018)

District Level Championships (2005-07, 2011-15, 2017-18)

Mississippi Association All-Star Coach (2008), Mississippi Association All-Star Coach (2017), Conference/District Coach of the Year (2005, 2010, 2012, 2015)

Philosophy of Athletics

Athletics is an avenue for learning to be a productive member of society. It is learning the value of working hard and learning to handle adversity at the same time. Team sports teach children that the overall good of a group sometimes is not the best for the individual. Athletics teaches us that competition drives greatness and the platforms of greatness carry responsibility to others.

The limelight of success illuminates the opportunity to serve and give back to the community in which you belong. If executed properly, children learn the role of respect for authority (game officials), cooperation with others, decision making, conflict-resolution, and pursuit of accomplishing goals. Coach Hicks' coaching philosophy has always been and will always be: if you are not willing to lose your best player to protect the integrity and goal of athletics, you will never have long term success in sports or life. 

See all of the 2017-18 National Coach of the Year recipients by viewing our press release.