Lester Brian Hicks joined an eclectic group of athletes recruited from other sports to play for legendary coach, Jack Lengyel at Marshall. Hicks cashed in on his football talent by attracting prominent suitors from the Big Ten, Big Eight, Pac Ten, Notre Dame, Maryland, Syracuse, and others before and after his stint at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa.
He earned an associate of arts degree from Ellsworth Community College and a bachelor of arts and a master’s of science degree from Marshall University. He made the dean’s list several times and was listed in Who’s Who amongst Students in American Junior College.
Hicks, a staff safety engineer, has been with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company for 32 years. His experience at Marshall shortly after the ill-fated plane crash in November 14, 1970 cultivated life lessons that he brings to work each day, and in fact drove him to his career choice.
He earned twenty-one awards from the State of Georgia for his pollution prevention and community service efforts during an eight-year period. He has been on the front page of the Atlanta Business Chronicle twice and has been featured in national news and advertising publications.
Hicks is active in his community, sharing the benefits of his experience on multiple fronts. He serves as a mentor to troubled youth, teaches Sunday school, serves on the Cobb Literacy Council to decrease the dropout rate and improve literacy in his county.
In 2005, Marshall University named Hicks as one of its 125 Most Impactful Black Athletes during the 20th Century. He received the prestigious Pathfinder Humanitarian Award from Steubenville High School on February 21, 2014. In 2012, Hicks received a community service and sports award from Lockheed Martin and holds four United States patents.
Hicks is the author of “Against All Odds-4th Down and Forever… How the 1970 Marshall University Plane Crash Inspired Me.
He has shared the Marshall University football program and his “Ashes to Glory” story on talk radio throughout the nation. Hicks’ life story, Finding Purpose Amongst Tragedy was featured in Lockheed Martin’s Employee Spotlight News, the Company’s television, and appeared as a special guest on the Business Unit’s Vice President’s world-wide webcast. He received Marshall University’s prestigious Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2016.