Coaching hall of famer Becky Dickinson taught love and respect as well as winning

Longtime Daphne resident also fought for equal female opportunities in high-school sports


DAPHNE, Ala. - A lady who loved teaching and those she taught even more, died Tuesday (Jan. 14). The Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay lost a neighbor, McGill-Toolen Catholic High lost a legendary mentor and present-day high school volleyball in Alabama lost a Founding Mother.

Becky Dickinson, the former Yellow Jackets basketball, tennis and volleyball coach was 83. She was successful leading all three sports, but it was winning at volleyball that put her in the AHSAA Hall of Fame and accorded many other honors.

She knick-named her volleyball team the Dirty Dozen after the boys basketball team called dibs on the gym floor forcing the girls outside at times to practice on the dirt court. Beginning in the late 1960s her teams would begin to compete in officially sanctioned matches. And soon set and hold both total wins and state championship records for many years after she retired in 1997. It would take one of her own players to be the first to pass her all-time victory mark.  

 “Her legacy will live on forever in the people she impacted; I’m just glad to be one of them,” said Bayside  volleyball coach Ann Schilling. “Learned so many lessons on and off the court (from her). And I am partly who I am today because of her.

“So, I will always be grateful for playing for her and having a daughter-like relationship with her. She was definitely one of a kind and I had the utmost respect for her.”

Dickinson won a total of 20 state titles for McGill-Toolen – 14 in volleyball, three in girls basketball and three in boys tennis. But she was not the only “Coach D” and program founder in her Daphne home. Rebecca King Dickinson was married to Bayside Academy’s first athletic director and coach Bill Dickinson who was part of the ground-floor faculty when the Admirals opened their doors in 1970. He died in July, 2017.

In 1987, he hired a Dirty Dozen veteran who would eclipse her mentor’s marks and is still putting his wife’s coaching lessons to good use with unprecedented success at Bayside.

Many more of Becky Dickinson’s players have followed in her coaching footsteps and some, like Schilling are coaching here in Baldwin County.

Former Dirty Dozen stand out, all-state hitter Monique Adams went on to be an All-American at LSU and a professional in Europe and Japan. She is now the head coach at Daphne High.

Spanish Fort head coach Gretchen Boykin went on to play collegiately.  She then coached the Badgers at Springhill College before leading the SFHS Toros to multiple state championships.

Alabama High School Athletic Association Executive Director Steve Savarese said that Dickinson helped propel high-school female athletics to new heights during her nearly 30 years coaching.

Schilling said a memorial service will be announced later. READ MORE AT Related Link Below: