The Board of Education of Frederick County seeks public feedback regarding a proposal to rename the Gov. Thomas Johnson High basketball court after former coach Tom Dickman.
The proposal, submitted by Blaine Young on behalf of former TJ High basketball players, seeks to name the school’s basketball court, “Tom Dickman Court.”
Dickman was an influential coach and community member. He was dedicated to the Frederick County community and touched the lives of countless students during his 29 years of coaching at GTJHS.
Young proposes the words “Tom Dickman Court” be affixed as an insignia to the basketball court surface along with a plaque be added to the gym in Coach Dickman’s honor. The costs associated with the insignia and plaque will be funded by private donations. If the naming request is approved, they anticipate a dedication ceremony at a home basketball game in February 2022.
The proposal states that Dickman played basketball at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va., from 1968-1972 under legendary coach Bob Starkey. He was honored as a Shepherd Outstanding Alumnus in 1987. After graduation, Dickman spent one season as an assistant coach for Shepherd. He was named head basketball coach for TJ High School in 1974.
Under his leadership, the Patriots experienced unprecedented success. He guided TJ to the state tournament 14 times. His teams earned seven titles, finished four times as state runner-up, and were state semi-finalists on three other occasions. Additionally, Dickman’s teams captured 20 conference titles and had 18 seasons with 20 or more wins. Overall, his teams tallied a 592-135 record and an 18-7 state playoff record.
Dickman went on to start the Hood College Men’s Basketball program, and four years after its inception, the team reached the NCAA Division III Championship. He was named the Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year in 2007, was inducted in the Frederick County Sports Hall of Fame in 1995, and the Hood College Hall of Fame in 2019.
BOE policy allows facilities on school grounds or in school buildings to be named for individuals under certain conditions. One is to honor distinguished persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the community or county. A school-based committee is required to review the request and prepare a recommendation for the BOE. The committee organized for this review included school staff, students, and community members, who have recommended approval of “Tom Dickman Court.” One of the letters of support for the naming request, citing Dickman “was more than a coach to many of us; he was father, role model, and mentor. Many of us would have never made it through high school or made it into college without his guidance and help.”
The BOE invites the public to email feedback to GTJHS.Basketball@fcps.org. The public comment period will end on Friday, January 7, 2022, with discussion to take place at a January 2022 Board of Education meeting.