2023 Hoy Hoy Award
Willie Nicklin at T High from 1965-1995. Willie is a 1947 graduate of Horton High School, Horton, Kansas. Shortly after graduation, he joined the United States Army during the years of 1950-1951. After his Army time, he attended Kansas University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Education, in 1956. Just afterwards, he earned a Master of Science Degree in Education from Emporia State Teacher’s College in 1957. After three previous teaching stints at other schools, Willie began teaching at Topeka High School in 1965. He also became an assistant coach in basketball, football, and track and field. In 1970, he became the Head Boys Basketball and Golf Coach. During his 24-year head coaching career in basketball, Willie’s teams accumulated a win/loss record of 359-160. His teams won seven Topeka Invitational Tournaments and was Runner-Up seven times. Topeka High was a two-time Sunflower League Champion and went on to win twelve consecutive I-70 League Championships. Coach Nicklin’s teams made eleven trips to the State Tournament, had five State Championship Game appearances, and won two State Championships (1973, 1986). The team also placed 4th one year. Coach Nicklin’s lifetime coaching record is 501-241. He became the longest tenured coach in the largest school classification in Kansas High School Basketball. Coach Nicklin was awarded the opportunity to be the Head Coach in Kansas’s first Kansas High School All-Star Basketball Game in 1973. Coach Nicklin went on to become a member of the Kansas All Sports Hall of Fame Board of Trustees from 1988-1992, won the 1987 Distinguished Service Award from NFICA, and was inducted into the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1995.