Hicks Out as Head Coach at Michigan State
Dwayne Hicks, the MCLA coach of the year in 2011 who narrowly missed upending the top seed in this year's tournament, has been fired as the head coach at Michigan State.
"We have parted ways with head coach Dwayne Hicks and assistant coach Chris Cooper," read tweets from the Michigan State men's lacrosse twitter account. "We wish them the best of luck in future endeavors. They are both class acts and helped us reach new program heights. We will continue to grow our program off the foundation they helped build."
Hicks was 45-20 in his four years in East Lansing, leading the Spartans to their first trip to the MCLA national championships in 2010 and then again in '11 and '12. This spring, Michigan State advanced to the quarterfinals before bowing to No. 1 Cal Poly by a goal, 10-9.
After losing to former conference rival Michigan, 21-9, in Hicks' first season in 2009, the Spartans lost by a goal, 11-10, in their final meeting with the Wolverines in the CCLA championship game in '11 before UM moved to the NCAA Division I level this spring.
"I'm very disappointed," Hicks said by phone on Thursday evening. "I think the program was going to get a whole lot better. It came down to a matter of whose program is it, and I think all club coaches have to deal with that. They felt that it was time for a change and they could do better elsewhere."
Hicks wasn't completely blindsided by the decision, as he said there were conversations during the course of this past spring that put a strain on the program and created factions among the players.
"At the club level, some kids feel like they don't want to do that or they don't want to run that much," Hicks said. "If you're going to make us do it, then we're going to get somebody else."
A Freeport, N.Y., native, Hicks played collegiately at Notre Dame, where he was a midfielder and defensemen. He has coached numerous high school programs and at his alma mater, as well previous MCLA stops at Oakland (Mich.) and Eastern Michigan.
"Dwayne Hicks will land on his feet," he said. "I'm sure I'll surface somewhere else at another program training kids, winning games and taking that program to the next level. It's not the end of the story, it's just another chapter."