During his eight years as one of the NFL’s leading safeties, Dwight Hicks was part of the famed San Francisco 49ers dynasty of the 1980s, assisting his team to not one but two national championship wins at Super Bowl XVI and Super Bowl XIX. Considered a natural leader on and off the field, Hicks was elected captain during both his senior year at the University of Michigan and Defensive Captain during his Super Bowl-winning 1984 season with the 49ers. That year, after an early loss, he delivered an impassioned speech to his teammates that helped to electrify their season, leading not only to their championship win but a 15-1 record overall.
But through it all, Dwight Hicks was carrying a heavy burden, one that ultimately charted the course of his career through college sports and the NFL. Coping with the fallout of a sexual abuse he endured during his time at the University of Michigan, Hicks struggled to rectify the intentions of football authority figures, including his coaches, some of whom deemed him “an un-coachable player” as a result.
Ultimately finding solace through the sharing of his story, Hicks now serves on the Board of Directors for The Army of Survivors (AOS) and credits his mother with giving him the strength and wisdom to persevere. “If your gut tells you something is wrong, then something is wrong,” Hicks says. “Don’t be afraid to voice what you’re feeling, because there’s a reason why you’re feeling it.
“In order to heal, you have to tell someone.”