Philadelphia High School
A Look at Tim Hickey's 31-Year Coaching
Career at William Penn High (1973-2003)
This page includes stories, team scores/places in championship meets, individual winners in championship
meets and overall breakdown during Coach Hickey's 31 seasons. (No meet in 1973. Informal meet in 1974,)
To provide additions/corrections:firstname.lastname@example.org. . . Thanks!
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Tim Hickey |
Tim Hickey coached track at now-closed William Penn for 31 seasons (1973-2003). He won 23 of 29 possible Public League championships along with another crown in the "informal" 1974 meet. (There was no meet in 1973. A title in 1997 was forfeited due to an ineligible runner.) This story was written after Tim won his final crown (and below that is part of a story that was written in April, when he announced he'd be stepping down) . . .
By Ted Silary
CHRISTINA SMITH kept moving from class to class and kept wondering why
Juanita Broaddus wasn't sitting nearby.
Hickey expects to hit the next Olympics and World Cup and to make a return
visit to Africa, where he served in the Peace Corps.
This story was written in 1996 as
Angel Patterson was three-fourths of the way
through her wonderful career (10 individual championships . . .
By Ted Silary
Tim Hickey says junior Angel Patterson already ranks among the top runners he has coached in track at William
"She has the ability to be No. 1,'' he said. "She doesn't quite have the dedication. She's a little lackadaisical. If she
really worked, there's no telling how good she could be.
"Have I told her that? Maybe 100 times. Sometimes nicely, sometimes not so nicely . . . Like water off a duck.''
"He's right, I don't work hard enough,'' Patterson said, laughing. "I try to, but it doesn't always happen.''
Patterson was speaking yesterday after sparking the Lions to a whopping 207 points and their 18th Public League
title in 21 years. Simon Gratz was second with 154 points.
The Girl Who Could Be Better was not exactly a stiff. All she did on La Salle University's track was break her own
PL records in the 400 meters (54.72) and 400 intermediate hurdles (1:00.11) and run a 55.0 anchor split for the
4 x 400 relay team, which also snapped a record (3:51.01).
"Any time Angel feels like running, the ability is there,'' Hickey said.
"During the indoor season, I was working hard every practice,'' Patterson said. ``We had to do our best in every
meet because the [areawide] competition was so tough. It's a little different outdoors when it's just the Public
eague. It seemed like I got a little lazy.
"Mr. Hickey would always be yelling at me and the other girls. `You'll never beat anybody if you run like that!
Don't think you're going to beat Gratz! ' He'd make us mad, then we'd work harder.''
Gratz's franchise, Joyce Bates, won the 100 (11.85), 200 (24.54) and 100 high hurdles in a record 13.56. Overbrook,
which finished third in team scoring with 90 points, leaned heavily on Tanqueray Hayward, who captured the 800
(2:19.31) and 1,600 (5:18.09).
Penn's day was not without consternation. Hickey said senior Kim Stowe went flying out of school yesterday
morning in search of yellow shoes to wear with her yellow prom dress.
"She dyed some shoes one shade of yellow,'' Hickey said, "but when she picked up her dress [Thursday] night,
the yellows didn't match. So, of course, she had to go buy new shoes.
"She took so long, she didn't make it back in time to catch our team bus. We didn't know what to think. She was
going to be on both our 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relay teams. But first she had to run in the 100. This was a no-scratch
meet. If she'd missed it, she would have been out of the relays. For some reason, the meet started 10 minutes late.
She made it 90 seconds before the 100 started.''
Stowe, Brandit Copper, Charlene ``Tweety'' Jones and Neffertitti Cooper won the 4 x 100 in a record 47.07.
Stowe, Zakiyyah Snead, Jones and Talington won the 4 x 200 in 1:41.54. Patterson's partners in the 4 x 400 were
Snead, Talington and Jalima Levine.
This story about Penn's outrageous practice situation was written in 1987 . . .
By Ted Silary
The main practice facility used by William Penn's girls track team consists of a sidewalk approximately 200 meters
The sidewalk thinks nothing of torturing runners' shins, and myriad people (students, neighborhood youth, women
pushing baby carriages) think nothing of disrupting coach Tim Hickey's workouts by walking across it.
Except that it's too hard, too short, too straight, too cluttered and too confining, the sidewalk is perfect.
Say you're Hickey, and you want the young ladies to simulate a 400-meter run.
You make them start on the 13th Street sidewalk outside the school fence, run up to Master Street, make a left,
ontinue for about 30 yards, make another left at the gate - hopefully, it's open - and head down the 200-meter
Six hundred meters?
Do not turn left at the gate, but instead continue on Master to Broad Street. Make a left on Broad, make another
left on Thompson Street, run straight through the gate at the corner of Thompson and Park Avenue, and conclude
by touching the flagpole just a shade removed from the 200-meter sidewalk.
Up 13th, over Master, down Broad, across Girard Avenue.
Crave a distance workout? Run to City Hall and back.
"The 600 - the Flagpole Run, we call it - and the half-mile are the worst," Hickey said yesterday, taking time out
from Penn Relays preparations. ''The wind on Broad Street is a son of a gun and you never know who you're going
to run into when you round the corner.
"The half-mile is worse. Down at that corner (13th and Girard), the girls have to contend with the winos. Up here
a little further (on 13th), it's the guys playing cards under the trees. There is all sorts of verbal abuse."
Is this any way to treat one of the nation's very best girls running programs?
No, but don't expect any changes. After coaching Penn's girls for 13 years officially and for several years prior to
that on a volunteer basis - before there even was Public League girls track - Hickey sure does not.
Penn has won eight of 12 available Public League outdoor track championships, including the last three in a row.
It has won seven of 11 cross country championships, including four straight. It has won the only four state indoor
championship meets it has entered. It also has taken the last four Spiked Shoe Meets.
"In the last four years," Hickey said, "we've won every meet in which a team score has been kept. But this year,
the sharks are out. They smell blood. There are three teams - West Philly, Germantown, Washington - that think
they can beat us (outdoors). And they might."
First things first. Today and tomorrow at Franklin Field, Penn will be seeking (but not expecting) glory in the
4 x 100- , 4 x 400- and 4 x 800- meter relays.
Seniors Barbara Worthington and Debbie Roberts and juniors Kim Washington and Camille Hendrix are slated to
run in the 4 x 100. Roberts, Washington, Hendrix and senior Dawn Jones are the 4 x 400 quartet, while Washington,
Hendrix, Jones and sophomore Najah Bradford will run in the 4 x 800.
Even if every Penn runner in every race falls flat on her face, Hickey still will enjoy himself. As much as anything
else, the Penn Relays are reunion time.
"We'll be right where we always are, in the upper deck at the finish line," Hickey said. "The kids always stop by
to say hello, reminisce and check out how the current kids are doing."
Penn's grandest Penn Relays moment came in 1979, when Rose Richardson, Pam Hughes, Val Fisher and
Cynthia Colquitt clocked 8:59.7 in the 4 x 800 championship. The time was a national scholastic record then and
has slipped only one notch since.
Fisher later ran for the University of New Mexico. Current Penn products performing for big-time colleges include
Debbie Bonner, a sophomore at Pitt, and Shawn Moore, a freshman at Tennessee. Both are here this weekend,
and you can bet that both will make a special effort to spend time with their former coach.
Tim Hickey is revered by his runners because they appreciate that he is totally immersed in what he is doing.
They also know - witness that he has lived for 18 years in an apartment building on Broad above Girard - that his
commitment to the inner city is as heavy as his Midwestern twang.
"I never met a black person until I was in high school," said Hickey, who was reared in rural Indiana, then
attended Ball State University. "Where I grew up, an Irish Catholic was a minority. Even in college, there were
almost no blacks.
"When I got out of college in 1964, I went into the Peace Corps. I was sent to East Africa and that was when all
the race riots were going on back here. We'd hear reports about what was happening in Detroit, Boston, New York.
Places like that, I knew absolutely nothing about. I decided when I got out of the Peace Corps, I'd go to a big
Eastern city, just to see what one looked like.
"My original intention was to stay six months, then go back to Indiana. I stayed for a year and a half, but when I
went to grad school at the University of Indiana, I came back on Easter break to visit the kids at Vaux Jr. High
(his first teaching assignment) and I wound up telling the principal, 'I miss this too much. I'll be back in May.' "
Despite his teams' various successes, Tim Hickey sometimes must feel frustrated.
"How much of a hassle is coaching Public League track?" he said, repeating a question. "Just put down that I
|WINNERS IN FIELD EVENTS|
|1974||Pat Helms||16-11 1/2|
|1976||Jeanette Chapman||17-4 1/4|
|1978||Sharon Hogue||16-1 1/2|
|2000||Ashley Holiday||17-2 1/4|
|1990||Radhiya Teagle||35-2 1/2|
|1994||Brandit Copper||36-1 1/4|
|1996||Charlene Jones||38-4 1/4|
|2000||Tiffany Smith||35-6 1/2|
|2001||Ashley Holiday||37-11 3/4|
|Tiffany Smith||36-1 1/2|
|1975||Gale Smith||32-10 1/2|
|1977||Lois White||33-4 1/2|
|1986||Nordia Samuels||32-2 3/4|
|1987||Stacey Lewis||32-2 1/2|
|1990||Stacey Lewis||33-8 1/4|
Winners in relays, 1980-2003 (No winning relays from 1976-79;
earlier years currently unavailable)