Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


October 11, 2012

Dalton column: Old friends, legends Hixon and Collins


The same year that Athletic Director Dunn recruited Hixon he also recruited Dick Collins and both men started at Andover High in 1959. So much has been written about Coach Collins that I won’t repeat it here, although I will be writing about him again in the near future. I must mention that his football and track teams were so successful that Andover High School’s field house is named for him, and it must be added that his teaching skills were unforgettably good.

When I spoke to Dick last week, we talked about what he has done since retirement. He has served on the School Committee for 15 years — he calls that a great experience — and he has unofficially helped the football and track programs. In all, he has been involved with the Andover School system for 54 years, no doubt a record of its own. He also unofficially contributes his time to the Phillips Academy’s football program and taught there for 10 summers. When Merrimack College began its football program a few years ago, Dick served as an assistant coach. Just in case his “retirement” isn’t busy enough, Dick runs a golf league in the summer, in which Wil Hixon participates. Dick has 21 grandchildren.

These old friends, Wil Hixon and Dick Collins, will be honored this Friday night at half time during the Andover-Lawrence football game, which will be played at Lovely Field. After the game, they will be at Dylan’s Restaurant on Park Street to visit with old friends and students.

Bill Dalton writes a weekly column for the Andover Townsman, and his email address is

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