Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Bobby “Coach” Hickingbotham, age 88

Bob Hickingbotham, 88, a longtime resident of Jacksonville, Arkansas and also lovingly known as “Coach Hick” by so many, passed away Thursday, September 28, 2023 in North Little Rock, AR.

Bob was born in McGehee, Arkansas on November 18,1934 to the late Mamie Howard Hickingbotham and Rae Curtis Hickingbotham. He is preceded in death by five siblings, Ray C. Hickingbotham Jr., Gene Hickingbotham, Maxine Hickingbotham, Maurine Hickingbotham Mazzanti, and Elizabeth Ann Hickingbotham.

He is survived by his loving  wife of 64 years, Gail Hickingbotham; his son and best friend Barry Hickingbotham and his wife Lisa of Jacksonville; three grandchildren who called him “Grandad”, Haley Hickingbotham of Farmington, Brandon Hickingbotham and his wife Jackie of Greenwood, Molly Hickingbotham of Jacksonville, and one great grandchild, Lona. He is also survived by his loving brother Frank Hickingbotham and his wife Georgia of Little Rock; three nephews Herren Hickingbotham of Little Rock, Todd Hickingbotham of Little Rock, Ray Hickingbotham of Dallas; two nieces, Candy Montgomery of Jacksonville, Bridget Montgomery  of Jacksonville, and a host of great nieces and nephews.

Coach Hick began a 68 year coaching career in McGehee, Arkansas, as a volunteer coach and fell in love with it. His love and passion for the game crossed over six decades and touched thousands of lives creating many coaches that learned the game of baseball from the best and continued sharing that passion with the next generation. His honors and recognition as a coach include: Girls State basketball Championship 1959 for England, AR: American Legion State Championships in 1984, 1988, 2020, 2021.His relationship with Gwatney Chevrolet as the head coach of the Gwatney Chevrolet American Legion Baseball Team (Chevy Boys)  began in 1971 and lasted until just recently. The commitment to the program is one of the many reasons his name resides in Hall of Fames across the state: Jacksonville High School 2007 Hall of Fame, Arkansas High School Officials Association 2010 Hall of Fame, Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame 2019 Meritorious Service Award, American Legion Outstanding Volunteer for 60 Years of Coaching 2019.

Visitation will be at the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville on Monday, October 2, 2023 from 6-8 p.m. The funeral service will be at the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at 10:00. Funeral Services will be live streamed on the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville Facebook page.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to First Baptist Church of Jacksonville or the Jacksonville North Pulaski Athletic Department. The address for the athletic department is 1301 W Main St. Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076.

Services are under the trusted direction of A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas, 72076. Please visit Bob’s online guestbook at



  • Keith Holsted Posted September 28, 2023 8:37 PM

    Please accept my prayers and condolences god bless you

  • Glinda Jones Posted September 28, 2023 8:52 PM

    Gail, Barry, and all your family my thoughts and Prayers are with all of you. May God wrap his arms around you and give you strength God Bless all of you. Glinda

  • Stan Brown #16. 1965 Posted September 28, 2023 9:11 PM

    One of the Best Men I have ever known

  • Rick DworMan! Posted September 28, 2023 9:44 PM

    RIP Coach! Great man!

  • Rick Dworshak Posted September 28, 2023 9:45 PM

    RIP Coach! Great man!

  • Jeff Sparks Posted September 28, 2023 10:19 PM

    What a great man and coach! Prayer for the Hickingbothams

  • Charles and Meri lyons Posted September 28, 2023 11:16 PM

    Our thought and prayers go out to all of you

  • Jerri Roe – McCrary Posted September 29, 2023 1:10 AM

    May you Rest in Love and Peace, Sir. You always remembered me and spoke to me over the years when we would run into you. – I was always in awe of that. You were one of the nicest teachers I had at Jacksonville – you will be missed and always remembered by JHS Red Devils. Much love and comfort being sent to your family. Until we meet again, Coach! 🙏🙏🙏✝️✝️✝️💙💙💙

  • Chris Druckenmiller Posted September 29, 2023 10:32 AM

    Played a couple summers at Gwatney and am now a HS and AAU coach. Coach Hick left a lasting impression on me and will miss knowing he is here. RIP Coach!

  • Janis Bowie Campbell Posted September 29, 2023 10:44 AM

    Not a better Coach in the world. He was loved by the England Basketball State Champions 1964.
    He wore my engagement ring during ball games. We were not allowed to wear jewelry.
    Gail and Barry so sorry for your loss. God has better plans for him now.

  • Larry Jay Kye Posted September 29, 2023 11:20 AM

    When you said coach the name Bobby Joe Hickingbotham would come to mind. He has coached and mentor many a young man. We will miss this guy as a city and a leader of the baseball Jacksonville Baseball program to coaching High School ball for the Red Devils! Everybody either knew who he was a solid rock for Jacksonville! .

  • Chuck Drees Posted September 29, 2023 12:30 PM

    He was a great man. An Great sport mine.Best wish to the family.

  • David Gammel Posted September 29, 2023 1:56 PM

    He was a very good mentor of young people I played football at England high in the mid sixties we won the district championship which included Cabot I also helped with girls basketball my junior and senior years . Then I saw him at my son’s football game at Beebe he was working as a referee and saw me I was always glad to see him and kept up with his baseball teams.I said all this to say I have been a preacher for over forty years and I give a lot of the credit to coach for the way I turned out

  • Sandra Hoggard Sheets Posted September 29, 2023 3:10 PM

    Coach was a very good coach as well as a good man. I played on the state championship team in 1964 at England Ar

  • Gary Davis Posted September 29, 2023 11:04 PM

    Coach Hickingbotham was one of the best. He was so much more than just a good baseball coach. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. May God Bless and Keep You during this difficult time..

  • Pamela Boyd Shields Posted September 30, 2023 1:22 AM

    Wonderful man, we respected with our hearts ❤️. RIP Coach. Gail, our deepest condolences.

  • Mike Chandler Posted September 30, 2023 9:51 AM

    One true Gentleman on and off the field. A great example for all to follow !!

  • Sharon Marcum Posted October 1, 2023 8:06 AM

    Coach Hickingbotham came to a Perryville where I played girls basketball. Empowerment of girls was not in our lexicon at the time, but that is what each of us got from Coach. He inspired us to work hard and give our best. We learned we were part of a team. We learned to bear our losses with grace and to celebrate our wins with joy. He was an early mentor of mine and he truly had a lasting positive impact on my life. I am glad I was able to share this with Coach before he left us. Thanks for so much that you gave to so many, especially to us girls, decades before the rest of the world understood.

  • Karen Owen Posted October 1, 2023 3:14 PM

    Coach would look for me every Christmas to help him pick out something special for Gail while I was working at Dillards. Prayers for his family as he rests in Peace.

  • Larry Joe Burrows Posted October 1, 2023 6:21 PM

    I was one of Coach Hick Asst Coaches for 12 years with American Legion Baseball CHEVY BOYS. Also he was like a father to me. RIB LOVE YOU BJ

  • Shelley Cross Posted October 2, 2023 10:32 AM

    A life well lived.
    Mr. Bob gave me an opportunity years ago that shaped the following 25 years of my work life. This was something he must have offered to many.
    May the memories he left his family provide comfort and smiles.

  • Bob Koorstad Posted October 2, 2023 2:07 PM

    You made this world a better place for many young men and their families as well. Bravo Zulu

  • STACY J LIPSCOMB Posted October 2, 2023 2:10 PM

    RIP Coach.

  • Tom & Linda Stricklen Posted October 2, 2023 5:49 PM

    Our condolences are with your family.

  • Rick Harvey Posted October 2, 2023 5:57 PM

    Words cannot express how much knowing and being around Coach Hick meant to me. Impacted my life in many ways on how to be a leader and how to treat people. He touched many lives in many ways, including mine. A Jacksonville legend. An Arkansas legend. .

  • Beckie Brooks Posted October 2, 2023 6:02 PM

    Prayers for family and friends.

  • D. Tucker Posted October 3, 2023 7:55 AM

    Always had a lot of respect and appreciation for Coach Hick teaching us youth league fathers to be better coaches for our kids. Great coach and great teacher of the game of baseball. God bless your family and may you rest in peace, Coach.

  • Peter Bolden Posted October 3, 2023 9:45 AM

    Prayers for the family and friends doing these times.

  • Steven Benjamin Posted December 7, 2023 12:44 PM


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