|College:||Oregon State '82|
|Position:||Head Coach (5th Season)|
Head Coach Jill Hicks returns for her fifth season at the helm of the Cal State Fullerton women's gymnastics program charged with returning the Titans to the national spotlight.
She was hired to the post following the 2006 season as the fourth head coach in the storied history of the program after spending one year as the program's assistant coach, helping lead the Titans to an 8-10 overall record, a season-high score of 193.025, and a sixth-place finish at the Western Athletic Conference Championships.
That year, two of the Titans' finest were named at alternates to the NCAA Regional competition in Palo Alto, Calif. Erica Ficarotta was named in the all-around while Melissa Schafer was named an alternate on floor.
After taking over the reins in 2007, Hicks immediately went to work rebuilding the Fullerton program. A young Titans' squad finished 8-7 overall and posted a 4-1 mark against its WAC rivals. Cal State Fullerton won three of its first four meets and even posted an upset of No. 21 Arizona State before finishing fifth at the conference championships in Boise, Idaho.
For her efforts, Hicks was named the 2007 WAC Coach of the Year and Nicole Lim was named an NCAA Regional alternate on beam after averaging a 9.641 in the event and ranking No. 24 in the west region with a regional qualifying score of 9.775 during the season.
In 2008, the Titans finished 6-14 overall and finished sixth at the WAC Championships, but she had three student-athletes (Alaina Baker in the all-around, Maddie Steinauer on vault, and Jessica Tait as an alternate on beam) selected to compete at NCAA Regionals - the first for Cal State Fullerton since 2005. Baker finished seventh in the all-around with a 38.900, narrowly missing out on a trip to nationals by .125. Steinauer finished tied for 14th on vault with a 9.775.
The 2009 season saw Fullerton improve slightly in the win column, finishing 7-10 overall and a spot higher at the WAC Championships, posting a 192.975 to finish fifth. For the second straight season, the Titans were represented in the national spotlight as Hicks helped coach both Baker (ninth in the all-around with a 38.850) and Steinauer (t13th on vault with a 9.80) back to the NCAA Regionals.
In 2010, with the program poised on the brink of extinction, Hicks successfully directed a major fund-raising campaign to keep the program afloat while also leading the team to a 4-10 mark and a fifth-place finish at the WAC Championships held at Titan Gym. Baker, who was a first-team all-conference choice in three events, was selected to compete at the NCAA Regionals in the all-around for the third consecutive season where she finished 11th overall.
In her four seasons with the program, her student-athletes have also excelled in the classroom as 20 gymnasts have been named to the Academic All-WAC teams 42 times and 26 student-athletes have been named to the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches Scholastic All-America honor roll a total of 39 times. In 2008, Cal State Fullerton finished sixth in the nation with a team GPA of 3.5867.
A former assistant coach for 14 years at her alma mater of Oregon State, Hicks returned to her native Southern California eight years ago and was a coach and choreographer at the National Gymnastics Training Center in Aliso Viejo, Calif., before joining the Fullerton staff on Aug. 3, 2005.
Hicks, who is married to Titans' ninth-year wrestling coach Dan Hicks, was an elite gymnast with SCATS and a national team member, but a knee injury nipped her collegiate career in the bud.
She served as an undergraduate "coach" for the Beavers for four years until her graduation in 1982 and then returned for a full-fledged stint from 1987 through 1997. In that time period, the Beavers made nine consecutive NCAA appearances and produced 33 All-Americans and five national champions. Her primary areas of focus were balance beam and floor exercise.
The Hicks' have three children and live in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.