Walter Hicklin graduated from Missouri Valley College with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. He obtained his Master of Science in mathematics from the University of Central Missouri, and an Education Specialist degree in higher education administration from UCM. At MVC, Hicklin was selected as Mr. Viking and served as president of V-Club. He was named to Who's Who in Colleges and Universities, earned academic all-American and all-conference football honors and was a national track & field qualifier in the long jump.
After graduation, Hicklin began his teaching and coaching career in the Lee's Summit R-VII School District, beginning as a math teacher and football coach, and later becoming head of the math department, head football coach, athletic director and assistant principal. Some honors garnered during his 14 years at Lee's Summit include four conference football championships and being named Kansas City Suburban Football Coach of the Year three times.
Hicklin left Lee's Summit to become the head football coach and mathematics professor at Central Missouri State University (now the University of Central Missouri). He served as the head football coach for five years and head track and field coach for one year. He retired in 2006 as vice president emeritus of student affairs after having served the university for 31 years. Hicklin has been recognized for his innovative retention programs and has been involved with Missouri Boys State program for 37 years. In 2011, Hicklin was inducted into the Missouri Boys State Hall of Fame.
In 2001, Hicklin was inducted into the Missouri Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame.
He has served as president of the Johnson County United Way, Warrensburg Rotary Club and Warrensburg R-VI School Board. Hicklin also serves as a deacon and elder for the First Presbyterian Church and previously sat on the Central Missouri Community Credit Union board of directors.