Darton State College has its second new head wrestling coach in two weeks.
The Albany, Ga.-based school announced Saturday that James Hicks, former Campbellsville University assistant coach, will take the helm of the mat program, replacing Tom Erikson, who had accepted the position June 12 but resigned Thursday.
Thursday afternoon, Erikson, who had been a coach at Purdue University since 1999, posted this message on Facebook: "It is with sadness that I will be turning down the position of head wrestling coach at Darton College" with no further explanation.
"We are excited to announce James Hicks as Darton State College’s next head wrestling coach," said Kiefer. "It will be great to have him as part of the Darton State College family."
"We had previously announced Tom Erikson as our head wrestling coach but he submitted his resignation on Thursday afternoon," Kiefer continued. "We were fortunate enough to have several excellent candidates during the search process and Coach Hicks will take Darton wrestling to great heights."
Hicks had just completed his fourth season on the Campbellsville coaching staff. Prior to becoming an assistant coach, Hicks was a four-time qualifier for the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) championships, once as a student at Dana College, once at Si Tanka University, and twice at Campbellsville. He graduated from the four-year private college located in Campbellsville, Ky. in 2009.
In accepting the job at Darton State, Hicks -- a native of Florida -- emphasized his southeastern roots.
"I’ve been recruiting all over the state of Georgia for the past four years while an assistant at Campbellsville University," Hicks said. "Coaching in Georgia would be a easy transition for me."
"I’m confident that I am the guy that will elevate Darton wrestling to the level that so many Georgia wrestling fans want to see."
Founded in 1963 as Albany Junior College, Darton State College recently became a four-year state school. The 5,900-student school launched its wrestling program in 2007.
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