|Organization:||Long Beach Community College (CA)|
Joe Hicks taught physical education and coached baseball at Long Beach City College from 1950 to 1975. He amassed a career record of 514-257 (.667) and led his teams to a total of 13 conference titles, eight Southern California and three State titles. During his tenure, he was coach to 10 future Major Leaguers and over 100 professional players.
Hicks co-founded the very successful Diamond Sports company, a nationwide sports equipment business. He also acted as an extra in movies and television, portraying the ruggedly handsome Marlboro Man in cigarette commercials in the mid-1960s.
Joe Hicks had been an athlete at Banning High School in Wilmington, California and then at UCLA, where he learned coaching techniques from his friend, John Wooden. For two years he pitched in the St. Louis Browns organization.
Hicks was known as a pioneer in baseball instruction. He devised a batting tee in the 1950s and produced films titled "Lean and Mean Muscle Building Program for Baseball Players" and "Jump Rope Decathlon for Competitive Athletes."
Hicks is also a member of the Long Beach Century Club Hall of Fame and the California Community College Baseball Hall of Fame. A 2002 inductee into the Long Beach City College Hall of Champioins, the school's baseball scoreboard is dedicated in his memory.