Kentucky State University announces that Wayne Dickens has been named head football coach. KSU Athletic Director Denisha Hendricks
says Dickens’ performance as interim head coach during the 2009 football season was one reason for his selection.
Dickens was the receivers coach during the 2008 football season. In 2009, the roles of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach were
added to his interim post.
“He has successfully emerged through the process,” she says. “He is a well-rounded coach with coaching experience on all levels.”
Describing Dickens’ coaching style, Hendricks says, “He created an environment of togetherness among staff and students. He gets along well with the players. He has a very good relationship with the coaches and does not micromanage them. He allows them to coach.”
His winning management style is evident in the statistics. The Thorobreds team achieved its first winning season in three years with a 6-5 record.
In addition, KSU’s defense is ranked 16th in the nation.
Reacting to his selection, Dickens says, “It’s exciting to be named head coach. But looking back, it feels like a four-month interview. Now the
hard work simply continues.”
Next season’s hard work will involve molding a young team into a consistent winner.
“We have a wealth of talent on defense who were freshmen this year, and who will play for us the next three years,” says Dickens. “A number of freshmen played well. If they make the same progress in the future, the sky is the limit.”
Two offensive players also did well under Dickens’ leadership. Sophomore running back Shannon Frieson and junior running back Anthony Boykins each rushed for more than 1,000 yards.
The football Thorobreds benefited from the new offensive and defensive schemes employed this season. “We were efficient, consistent and very effective, which led to our success,” says Dickens. “The players knew the routine, and there were no surprises.”
“The difference between a good team and an average team is the level of consistency,” says Dickens who learned the value of efficiency and
consistency through experience. “I was fortunate to coach under a number of exceptional head coaches – two of which were Don James at the University of Washington and Ted Tollner at San Diego State University.”
Dickens previously served as a regional scout for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League from 2005 to 2006. He evaluated
collegiate and professional athletes for prospective contracts with the Canadian team.
Prior to that, he was the offensive coordinator at Norfolk State University in 2004. He also coached receivers, quarterbacks and special teams for the Spartans. During 2003, Dickens was the offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Morehouse College. In 2002, Dickens also served as receivers coach for the Canadian Football League’s British Columbia Lions. He helped the team finish third in its division and qualify for the CFL playoffs while coaching the CFL Rookie of the Year.
He helped coach the San Diego State University Aztecs to a Western Athletic Conference, Pacific Division, Co-Championship and Las Vegas
Bowl berth in 1998. For seven seasons (1995-2001) he coached wide receivers, three of which eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark and 14 of which moved on to the professional ranks. He became the Aztecs’ special teams coordinator in 1999. He also participated in the NFL Minority Internship Program, serving summer internships with the Chicago Bears (1996 and 1997) and the Miami Dolphins (2003).
Serving as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at the University of San Diego in 1994, Dickens’ team ranked first in the conference and second in the nation in net punting. His first collegiate coaching experience was as a graduate assistant at the University of Washington in 1992 and 1993. He assisted with the defensive line, linebackers and special teams with the Huskies, who won the Pacific 10 Conference Championship and went on to the 1993 Rose Bowl.
In addition to his considerable football experience, Dickens has 19 years of sales and sales management experience in the corporate sector.
A native of Orange, N.J., Dickens received a degree in English from Rutgers College in 1973. He is married to Kristie Dickens and has four children.