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Tom Hickman is 'fired up,' brings a 141-41 record, and community approach to Forest Grove.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Forest Grove's Kamalei Tanaka (10) during a Vikings game last season. Forest Grove hired Tom Hickman as their new head coach after former head coach Katy Carrillo stepped down.Thomas Hickman has been named the new head softball coach at Forest Grove High School.

Hickman comes to Forest Grove from Wisconsin, where he spent seven seasons as the head coach for Whitnall High School, a Division II school in the Milwaukee suburb of Greenfield. While at Whitnall, Hickman accrued a 141-44 overall record, was annually ranked in the Division II top-10 and won a state championship in 2018.

"We are very excited to have Tom on board," said FGHS Athletic Director Doug Thompson. "We look forward to his leadership in the Viking softball program."

The veteran coach oversaw all aspects of the high school program at Whitnall, including, but not limited to, roster selection practice and game plans, skill development, community outreach, program budgeting and fundraising. In addition to his high school obligations, Hickman was the president of Whitnall RAGE Fastpitch Organization Greenfield — a softball club and development program — and oversaw all aspects of the program, including tryouts, roster/team selection, coach selection, fundraising, equipment and uniform selection, community outreach and youth camps.

Hickman — after taking last season off — takes over for outgoing head coach Katy Carrillo, who finished with a combined overall record of 34-48, having qualified for the state playoffs twice in her three years at the helm.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to coach at Forest Grove," Hickman said via email. "Having the one-year gap following our family relocation to Oregon really has me fired up to get back on the field. Additionally, after this whirlwind week where I've had meetings with some of the players and coaches from this past season, I wish spring would come a little sooner."

The new coach knows that's it never easy taking over a new program, but is happy with what he's seen and heard about the facilities at the school and from the administrators, players, and coaches at Forest Grove High.'

"The 'bones' of the program are in great shape, and the administration has been great, the facilities are top notch and there is a local youth program in place," the coach said. "The plan is to build from the ground up, focusing first on ourselves and mastering the game fundamentals. It's not going to be an overnight implementation, so we will utilize the opportunities during our fall and winter contact periods to evaluate and introduce concepts that have worked for me and my teams in the past."

That includes working with the Little League program, the Oregon Wild travel softball program and with helping with any clinics or camps they may have with those groups.

"At the end of the day, we want our program to have a positive influence on the community to the extent that the community falls in love with the softball program and, more importantly, our players," Hickman said. "These girls work so hard at the game and we want to share their efforts with the community."

In the wake of her departure, Carrillo offered the following statement:

"While I truly enjoyed my time coaching at FGHS, I decided to step down as head coach so I can focus on other priorities and allow the program to grow with a new leader. I believe that Tom Hickman will have a positive impact on the program, and I look forward to cheering on the girls next season."

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