Tartan coach has had a great run

Hickey is turning over the reins
“I am resigning because I am tired,” Tartan football coach Tim Hickey said in a recent letter to Activities Director Lee Alger. “It takes a lot of energy to run this program, and I don’t have the energy to continue to run this program.”
With the release this month of the letter of resignation, a stunned surprise was felt by those closest to Hickey.
“It was just time. I didn’t have any outside pressure. I was there for nine years and it is a tremendous amount of work,” coach Hickey related.
Hickey, a 1978 Tartan graduate, went on to play linebacker and defensive line at Augsburg College.
He returned to his roots at Tartan and took over the job as head wrestling coach of the Tartan grapplers. In that position, he brought the Titans from obscurity to a conference power.
Hickey was an assistant football coach at Tartan, then moved to Augsburg as an assistant for a short stint.
He returned to take over the head football coaching position in 1997.
In the nine years that Hickey has served Tartan as head coach, the Titans have won 50 games (a record for any Titan coach) while losing just 35.
 Hickey cited winning the then St. Paul Suburban Conference Championship during his first year as one of many highlights in his career.
“Then, anytime you can beat your sister school, it is a great accomplishment,” Hickey said, referring to School District 622 rival, North.
During Hickey’s tenure as head coach, the Titans have posted an 8-1 mark over North.
Then, a year ago in the sectional playoffs the Titans defeated long-time nemesis, Stillwater.
“That was huge for us,” Hickey said about the 20-13 defeat of the Ponies. “It finally got the monkey off our back.”
In the 2003 season, Tartan was named Regional Academic Champions, “and I’m very proud of that,” said the amiable coach.
Hickey didn’t hesitate to voice his disappointment in not winning a sectional title and advancing to a berth in the State Tournament.
But any disappointment was overshadowed by the near countless athletes he has worked with and guided during his tenure as coach.
As important, are the relationships and friendships he has made with his coaching peers.
Hickey pointed to long-time assistant and friend, Rory Sanders. He also named longtime Tartan team manager Robert Lamb as being important to Tartan and to him personally.
“Anytime you can surround yourself with great people, you have to consider that a success,” Hickey said. “Over the years, I have had great staff members.
“For me,” Hickey continued, “it has been a privilege and a pleasure. I hope to continue in the program, just not as head coach. I will support whoever takes the job. There are several who have been with me for five or six years. I feel confident that any of them will do a good job.”
Hickey pointed to offensive coordinator Mark Woodcock, special team coordinator Darin Glazier and Tim Murtha, “who has worked his way up through the ranks. Any of those guys would do an outstanding job.”
But Hickey emphasized, “I wish to remain a part of the football program.”
There are a lot of kids and staff members who also have the same wish.
“The important thing to remember,” he concluded, “is that it is all about kids. I have been a part of Tartan for close to 30 years - playing and teaching. It’s been fun. I hope it continues. The bottom line is, it’s about kids. No question about it.”
Hey coach, thanx for the memories!
 I hope, in your future experiences, you get to tuck many more under your belt .

Quick takeoffs
Hey it’s out! Just in time for Christmas, for son, daughter, mom, dad, friend, “Daughters of the Game: The first era of Minnesota Girls High School Basketball 1891-1942” has hit the bookshelves. The book, by MARIAN BEMIS JOHNSON and DOROTHY McINTYRE, is a true treasure, worth sharing with any of the above. For more information on how to get your hands on a copy, call 952-200-4065, or e-mail McJohn@mn.rr.com . . . Ever since I’ve been filling these spaces, TARTAN has had a very good girls volleyball program. But under the tutelage of LAURA KLINGSPORN, it only got better. During her 23-year tenure (KLINGSPORN has turned the reins over to 2005 co-coach DANA PEDERSON) the Titans were 422-179-3! Wow! KLINGSPORN has stepped down to devote more time to cheering on daughter NIKKI (headed for UW-MADISON on a volleyball scholarship) and to continuing her role as Dean of Students at the OAKDALE-based institution. Hey LAURA, many thanx for the great run! . . . Sincere sympathies to popular ST. PAUL Pioneer Press sports scribe CHARLEY “Shooter” WALTERS and his family on the passing of his dad . . . Those sparkling new scoreboards at either end of the ice sheet in POLAR Arena are the result of benefactor DON REGAN and the PREMIER BANKS. When you get a chance, make sure REGAN knows how much all his contributions to hockey - at all levels around this entire community - are appreciated! . . . It was a show of class when hockey pals BERIT JOHNSON of BLAKE (she’s headed for YALE) and CHRISTINA LEE of WAYZATA (she’s headed for UM-MANKATO) showed up and were on hand Nov. 8 at NORTH to support CAITLIN HOGAN and ALLIE THUNSTROM as they signed Division I letters of intent for next season . . . It’s only a rumor, but one has to wonder what transpired with UMD Bulldog grad who went on to fame in the NHL, BRETT HULL, who was abruptly dismissed by the PHOENIX Coyotes. HULL was treated less than cordial by what he thought was his buddy, WAYNE GRETZKY, and has returned to DALLAS where he is pushing a pencil at a meaningless desk job. Remember, it’s only a rumor, but . . . WOODBURY’s DAVE WATSON, a senior on the CARLETON College men’s soccer squad, recently earned Academic All-District honors. WATSON, a math major, has maintained a phenomenal 3.86 GPA while starting in 71 of 72 career games. He is also a 3-year All-MIAC first team standout. Good going DAVE! . . . Congrats to THOMAS RUSSELL of BLAINE who recently holed an ace on ISLAND LAKE Golf Center’s 136-yard hole number two using a 6-iron . . . TARTAN grad LAURA BRACKEY and ROSEVILLE’s LAURA SUPPES, are listed as teammates on the UW-EAU CLAIRE Blugolds women’s hockey team . . . Hey RUTH, you hang in there!

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