Dwayne Hicks was officially announced as the fifth head coach in school history on May 19, 2020. Hicks served as the interim head coach during the 2020 season before the season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. He enters his first season as leader of the Titans in the 2020-21 school year.
Hicks is a familiar face within the Titan Athletic Department, having spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach on the men's lacrosse staff. He joined the men's lacrosse program in the fall of 2017 and in both of his full campaigns with the team, he helped coach back-to-back winning campaigns with a school-record nine wins in 2018 and a trip to the MAAC Championship game and another eight wins in 2019 and another bid to the postseason.
Hicks has more than 45 years of lacrosse in his background as a player and coach and has been one of the most instrumental individuals in helping spread the game in the state of Michigan. He has spent the last 15 years as the Director of Lacrosse at the Total Sports Complex in Wixom, Michigan. He was also the head coach and director of the Total Lacrosse's Train and Play program and Team Total Lacrosse travel team. Hicks coached the Oakland University women's lacrosse program in four seasons, as the team qualified for four national championships, placing as high as third and winning three regional championships.
"Coach Hicks is a proven veteran coach who previously coached women's lacrosse and will build the team into a perennial championship contender," Director of Athletics Robert C. Vowels, Jr. said at the time of his hiring. "He knows and understands the mission, vision and priorities of Detroit Mercy and the department of athletics. I want to thank Teri Kromrei '03, Associate Director of Athletics, who had oversight of women's lacrosse for identifying and recommending Coach Hicks. We are extremely excited about the direction of the entire women's lacrosse program under his leadership."
"I'd like to thank Robert Vowels and Dr. Garibaldi for offering me this opportunity to continue working with this incredible group of young ladies," Hicks said. "From day one, I saw an incredible amount of potential. Now, it's just a matter of getting everyone on the same page and turning that potential into results. I'm excited to be here and look forward to the challenge of making Detroit Mercy a great place for our players."
Hicks has been recognized as Coach of the Year on five occasions. He has also been selected National Coach of the Year twice, once as head coach of the men's team at Michigan State and the other as the assistant coach of the Oakland women's team.
"Detroit Mercy is a great place to grow the women's game," Hicks said. "We offer student-athletes the opportunity to earn a degree in many of the most sought after majors in today's workforce. Playing lacrosse is great, but as a coach, not only do I want my players to be competitive on the field, I want them to be prepared to compete when lacrosse is over. That's the value of having a Jesuit education and being a player at Detroit Mercy."
Hicks oversaw the Detroit Mercy men's lacrosse faceoff unit, which had been one of the best in the MAAC in the last two-plus years as Alex Jarzembowski was named All-MAAC twice and broke the school record for career, season and game faceoff wins. Hicks has coached at both the high school and college level with teams at Freeport High School (NY), St. Joseph's High School (IN) and Seaholm (MI) as well as his alma mater Notre Dame, Oakland (men's and women's teams), Eastern Michigan and Michigan State.
"As far as what to expect from Detroit Mercy in the future, all I will say is that we will play fast and hard," Hicks said. "I love the women's game because it is very skillful and based on strategy. It is very different from the men's game which is based on match-ups. I'm looking forward to working with our players and coaches to find that strategy that will make us competitive among the teams we play.
"The previous coaches did a great job of recruiting. There's a lot of talent here on campus for us to work with, but I will be on the road this summer looking for a few special players who have the athleticism and the grades to make it at Detroit Mercy. I'm looking for girls who are ready to play and want to compete on the national stage against many of the best players in the country."
During his five years with the Oakland men's team, Hicks was able to develop an unknown program into a nationally ranked, highly touted lacrosse team, which included two national championship appearances and one Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association (CCLA) title. In 2006, Hicks moved from Oakland to Eastern Michigan to help build their program. After three seasons with the Eagles and helping them become a CCLA playoff contender, he moved to Michigan State, where he guided the Spartans to four CCLA playoff appearances, one championship and two runner-up efforts.
Hicks also played and coached professionally in the England Lacrosse Union after his collegiate career. In each of his two seasons with the Timperley Rebels, he led his team to the national championship. He was also given the opportunity to coach several members of Team England in preparation for the 1986 World Lacrosse Games. During his club playing days, he spent two seasons in Chicago, was a pick-up player in Indianapolis and Cleveland before finishing his final four seasons in Detroit with the Motor City LC.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Hicks was a standout lacrosse player and wrestler at Freeport High School. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame in 1985 with a degree in Industrial Design with a concentration in automotive and product design. Hicks worked as a creative writer for over 20 years at many of the largest advertising agencies in Detroit before retiring to pursue his dream of being a Division I coach.