Dickey Hightower Retires After Six Seasons at Wesleyan

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Macon, GA - Wesleyan's Dickey Hightower has announced his retirement following six seasons of coaching the Wolves softball team. His tireless devotion to putting the Wesleyan softball program back in reputable standing is what has characterized his time at the college, and his presence across campus will be greatly missed in the years to come.

When reflecting on his career at Wesleyan, Hightower remarked, "I enjoyed the six years that I coached softball at Wesleyan. I can't say enough about the ability and attitude of the players that I had the pleasure of coaching while I've worked here.  While we did not achieve everything that I would have liked to when I came to Wesleyan, I do believe we have built a good foundation that the program can continue to build upon.  I wish all the players that will be on the 2017-18 team nothing but the best."

Hightower spent much of his first year on campus rebuilding the softball field at the Mathews Athletic Complex to make it one of the premiere fields in the conference. Over the course of his tenure, he would build new dugouts, build home and visitor batting cages, add windscreens to the outfield fences, and build a press box and snack bar all with his own two hands. He spent countless hours grooming the field to keep it in top condition.

From a coaching perspective, Dickey revitalized the Wesleyan softball program in so many ways beyond wins and losses. He consistently brought in large recruiting classes, investing in their lives beyond the softball field. He worked tirelessly with the Wesleyan faculty and staff to make sure his athletes were doing their part in the classroom. His athletes knew he was completely invested in their well being, moreso as students and young women than as softball players.

Victoria Clower, a rising senior on the Wesleyan softball team, remarked, "Coach Hightower is a remarkable man. My sister and I have know him since we were sophomores in high school, so for five years now he has been nothing short of a grandfather figure to us. He has gone out of his way to help us crawl out of some pretty difficult obstacles and has given us unconditional support. I think I speak for everyone when I say that he has had a great influence on all of our lives while he has been our coach and he will be missed without a doubt. No one can possibly replace him because he's simply one of a kind." 

Tricia Velasco, one of Hightower's former players who has been a member of his coaching staff since 2013, states, "Coach Hightower is one of the best things that has happened for Wesleyan athletics. The softball facility is unrecognizable from when he first began thanks to his endless efforts. He has put academics first and has gone to great lengths to establish relationships with the professors. Also, he makes sure to support the other sports and events at Wesleyan, making him a friendly face on campus. It has been a great pleasure playing for him and coaching alongside him. He's a one of those people you only meet once in a lifetime." 

The 2015 season marked Hightower's most successful year between the lines. The Wolves won 15 games, including victories over rivals Agnes Scott, LaGrange and Salem. At season's end, he had four players named to the GSAC All Conference team and two selected to the All Freshman team, while Wesleyan swept the major conference honors by earning GSAC Player of the Year (Jema Bravo), Pitcher of the Year (Mellissa Webb), and Coach of the Year.

Associate Athletic Director Nicky DiMarzio remarked, "Dickey has been an integral part of building the Wesleyan athletic department in every aspect of our operations and has gone above and beyond the call of being the Wesleyan softball coach. He has single-handedly poured hours upon hours into the softball complex making it one of the most beautiful facilities in our conference; he has helped the young ladies endlessly to not only be successful on the field, but in the classroom, in their personal lives, and in their growth as strong women. He has brought the softball program to a competitive level and built the foundation for years of success in our new conference. On top of all his contributions to Wesleyan, Dickey has also has been a great colleague and friend, and one of the most well-rounded and knowledgeable individuals I've had the pleasure to work alongside. Whether it was staying in Macon after work to help with a project around my house or rearranging his practice/recruiting schedules to make it to a big basketball game, he makes things happen. Some of the biggest things that will certainly be missed are his sense of humor and ability to make good in all situations. I wish him the best of days during his retirement."