FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU volleyball and sand volleyball coach Dave Nichols has announced that he will resign from both positions, effective Feb. 22, 2014. Nichols has spent the past six years in charge of the volleyball program, and has been the only coach in the history of the sand volleyball program which began playing competitively in the spring of 2012.
“I want to thank Dave for his numerous contributions to both volleyball programs over the course of his six-year tenure. From elevating our team to record levels on the court and in both the classroom and community, he has left the programs in terrific shape moving forward,” Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh said. “We greatly appreciate all the valued teamwork, efforts, sacrifices and contributions Dave has made to FGCU Athletics.”
Nichols recently led the Eagles to a third consecutive trip to the Atlantic Sun Conference semifinals, concluding the year with a 14-19 overall record and a 9-9 mark in league action. Nichols finishes his time at FGCU with a career record of 99-82, five A-Sun Tournament appearances and two A-Sun regular-season championships.
“I would like to thank everyone for the incredible opportunity afforded me at FGCU, and wish only the best for the staff, administrators, coaches and wonderful student-athletes who make up the outstanding athletic department of Florida Gulf Coast University,” said Nichols. “I feel that with the talented returners and redshirts, and a very strong 2014 recruiting class that the volleyball programs will be in great shape for the 2014 season and the future.”
In 2012, Nichols was named the A-Sun Coach of the Year after guiding FGCU to a regular-season title and a 16-2 mark in league play, eventually losing in the conference semifinals. The year prior the Eagles went 10-3 in the A-Sun and also advanced to the A-Sun semifinals, and in 2009 he and his club made another run to the tournament title, but fell in the final game.
Nichols began his tenure in 2008 – FGCU’s second Division-I season – in exemplary fashion, going 20-8 overall, including a dominant 18-2 performance in A-Sun games. The Eagles won their first regular-season crown, and Nichols had a pair of players named to the A-Sun All-Conference First Team and one to the A-Sun All-Freshman Team.
In his six seasons at the helm of the Eagles, Nichols has had 12 All-Atlantic Sun selections (five First Team), four conference Freshman Team honorees and two Academic All-District selections (Holly Youngquist: 2011 Second Team and Gigi Meyer: 2012 First Team).
Nichols, who spent 12 years at Division-II Barry prior to arriving in SWFL, has been notorious for playing some of the best competition in the nation every year. In 2013 alone, FGCU went up against five teams in the RPI Top 50 – and seven in the Top 100 – including current No. 49 Ohio State, No. 45 Central Arkansas, No. 19 Florida State, No. 10 Marquette and five-time national champion and No. 2 Penn State in front of an Alico Arena record crowd in September.
On the sand volleyball court, Nichols led FGCU to a winning season in its first ever campaign in 2012, going 6-5 and having Youngquist named to the A-Sun Academic All-Conference Team. In 2013, the Eagles won five games, and Kaitlin Holm and Whitney Masters earned all-league honors, with Masters also being tabbed an academic selection.
The 2014 sand volleyball season is scheduled to begin in mid-March. A national search for Nichols replacement will begin immediately to ensure the programs continue to build off the strong foundations he established.