Iraq War vet to flip coin at SEC Championship game

Brian Hicks
Brian Hicks

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Brian Hicks remembers all too well when he got the call. "It was 4 months ago," he said, long before anyone had a clue Auburn would go undefeated, win the SEC west and now play for the conference title in the Georgia Dome.

It will be Hicks who will toss the coin at mid-field, and there's a pretty good chance the players and the thousands of people in the stands won't know that Hicks wears a prosthesis.

It's an old injury that got worse over the years. Part of his leg above the left ankle had to come off.

"And when we hit the ditch in Iraq, the nerve damage I thought was gone in the leg came back," said Hicks who initially hurt his leg with a deer hunting rifle in 1998.

Now fast forward to the Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham where Brian trains as a paratriathlete, the SEC called Lakeshore and wanted a coin-tosser. Mr. Hicks got the nod who just happens to be an Auburn graduate.

Hicks graduated in 1993.

"As the season progressed and it got closer and closer, I thought 'hey.. we might win this thing,' Hicks said.

Glenn Crumpton is not only amazed at Brian's attitude as an amputee but so very proud of his upcoming moment in the spotlight.

It was Crumpton's company that outfitted Hicks with his prosthesis.

"He's an inspiration to so many people," said Crumpton, owner of Alabama Artificial Limb & Orthopedic Services.

The actual coin-toss ceremony with the players calling it in mid-air will probably last no more than 60 seconds, if not less.

Hicks knows it could feel like an eternity. Remember, it will be on live television.. millions watching along with tens of thousands of people in the Georgia Dome.

"I'll just let it soak in," Hicks said.

That's why Hicks has been practicing a little, a little 'flip' is all it takes.

"My wife and I were talking the dome ceiling is pretty high so I don't think I can mess it up," Hicks said with a laugh.

From the war zone to the SEC championship game at mid-field, Brian Hicks scores with a chance of a lifetime.

"It will be incredible," Hicks said.

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