FORT MYERS, Fla., - Florida Gulf Coast University Director of Athletics Carl McAloose has announced the hiring of Dave Nichols as the new volleyball coach at FGCU. Nichols has been the head coach at Barry University since 1996 where he won two national championships and compiled a 276-100 in 12 seasons.
“We feel very fortunate to have hired someone that brings so much to the table. Dave is a proven winner who will bring a great deal of experience and enthusiasm to our program,” said McAloose. “He has very high goals for our future and I know he will work hard to achieve those goals. I believe he is going to help create a fun and exciting atmosphere for our student-athletes and fans.”
Nichols was one of the premier coaches in NCAA Division II as he won two national championships and finished as the national runner-up once as well. He guided teams to three Sunshine State Conference titles and 11 trips to the NCAA tournament in 12 years as a head coach at Barry. Nichols was named National Coach of the Year in 2001 after guiding Barry to the national championship with a 32-2 record. In 2003, Barry set a new NCAA Division II record by winning 55 consecutive games and finished with a 24-4 record. He again led Barry to the national championship in 2004 with a 34-1 record. Barry also won 33 consecutive matches that season.
In 12 seasons, Nichols has coached 13 AVCA All-Americans, five Volleyball Monthly All-Americans, four Daktronics, Inc., All-Americans and three CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. He has also helped develop 29 AVCA All-Region selections and 40 All-Sunshine State Conference selections as well. Nichols was named SSC Coach of the Year three times (2001, 2003, and 2004) as well as the AVCA South Region Coach of the Year in 1997, 2001 and 2004.
Prior to Barry, Nichols was an assistant at Arizona State where he helped lead the Sun Devils to their most successful season in program history as the finished the year ranked #10 in the nation. He was also an assistant at Cal from 1988-92 and helped lead the Bears to the post season on three occasions.
Nichols, a 1976 graduate of UCLA also won three national championships as a player and enjoyed a successful professional career before his coaching career.
“I am ecstatic to be offered the head coaching position at FGCU,” said Dave Nichols. “During my interview, I felt very comfortable when I met the players and staff. It is a positive situation and it feels like a family. The program has tremendous potential, and I look forward to continuing the great success that FGCU has enjoyed.”
FGCU finished its first season in Division I as the Atlantic Sun champion with a 23-3 record and 10-1 mark in conference play. FGCU returns four starters including 2007 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year Ana Kokanovich as well as first team selection Roberta Santos.