Willie Nicklin was the Head Boys Basketball Coach at Topeka High School for 24 seasons from 1970 to 1994. His teams compiled a 359-160 record for a 69.2% winning percentage. Willie guided the Trojans to two Sunflower League Championships, twelve I-70 League Championships, eleven Sub-State Championships, three 2nd place state finishes, two State Championships in 1973 and 1986, and seven Topeka Invitational Tournament Crowns.
Willie was born in Baldwin City, Kansas and graduated from Horton High School in 1947. He lettered in football, basketball and baseball while in high school. Willie graduated from the University of Kansas in 1956. While at KU he took three basketball classes from legendary KU Coach Phog Allen. His first teaching and coaching job was at Arnold, Kansas from 1956 to 1960. His Arnold teams compiled a 54-24 record and went 20-1 in 1958-59. He next coached at Oxford, Kansas from 1960 to 1963. His next coaching stint was from 1963 to 1965 at Landon Junior High in Topeka. He then became the Assistant Boys Basketball Coach at Topeka High School from 1965 to 1970.
Willie posted 501 career wins as a head coach during his legendary career. The basketball court at Topeka High School was named the “Wilfred ‘Willie’ Nicklin Court” in his honor in 2006. In addition, he is a member of Kansas Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.