By Mike Matthews
Fran Campbell and Lynn Hicks, coaches at Wren High School, will be inducted into the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame this Friday in Columbia. During their times at Wren, the varsity boys and girls basketball coaches have set the standard for excellence in athletics.
They have coached longer, won more games, and brought home more championships than anyone else (in any sport) in the history of Anderson School District One. Coach Campbell and Coach Hicks have each spent the last 33 years of their respective careers at Wren High School.
Campbell served as an assistant coach at Greenville High School for seven seasons before succeeding Phil Hopkins as head coach of the Golden Hurricanes.
During his three-plus decades at Wren, his teams have won 545 games and lost 311, giving him an average record of 17-9 per season.
His Wren teams, nicknamed “The Running Canes” for their trademark fast-pace style of play, have won 11 conference and region championships, and qualified for the state playoffs 25 times in their 33 seasons under his guidance.
The “Running Canes” have advanced to the Upper-State Championship Finals twice, winning the title in 1994, and going on to finish as the State 3-A Runner-Ups to Columbia’s Eau Claire High School, which featured legendary player Jermaine O’Neal.
Among Campbell’s individual honors are being named as a conference and region Coach of the Year 11 times, and being chosen the State High School Coach of the Year (for all classifications) by the Associated Press in 1994.
Coach Campbell has seen a number of his players go on to compete on the collegiate level, while also mentoring numerous assistant coaches who went on to serve as head coaches at other schools.
Lynn Hicks has even stronger ties to the local community, having graduated from Wren High School where she was a multi-sport standout before continuing her playing career on the collegiate level at Erskine.
She was an assistant coach at the former McDuffie High School in Anderson for two seasons before beginning a 33-year career of her own at Wren.
Her Lady Hurricanes have put together an overall record of 540-316 for a per-season average of 16-9, while winning seven conference and region championships.
She has led 24 of those 33 teams to the state playoffs, where they advanced to the Upper-State Championship Finals in 1993, 2006, 2012, and this past season, when they dropped a 51-49 decision to eventual State 3-A Champion Dreher from Columbia. Her many personal honors include being chosen as conference and region Coach of the Year seven times, along with coaching in numerous All-Star Games.
Many of her players have taken their talents to the collegiate courts, with several going on to hold coaching positions of their own.
Hicks also serves as the head softball coach at Wren, and led the Lady Hurricanes to the 2008 State 4-A Championship.
The induction ceremony will be held this Friday, Mar. 18 at a banquet during the ‘67th North-South All-Star Game Weekend’ in Columbia.
The 8 p.m. banquet will be at Seawell’s Restaurant and is open to the public, with tickets costing $25 each.
Those interested in attending, or desiring more information, can contact John Combs at firstname.lastname@example.org.