Dave Nichols was appointed as assistant volleyball coach at The University of Tulsa in March 2014. Nichols brought 18 years of head collegiate coaching experience to Tulsa, including two seasons in which he led his team to the NCAA Division II National Championship.
Nichols compiled a 375-182 career record in 18 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including stops at Florida Gulf Coast and Barry University. He came to Tulsa following six seasons at FGCU, where he posted an overall 99-82 record in six years and registered five 18-plus win seasons.
Under his tenure, FGCU had 11 All-Atlantic Sun selections, including five first-team selections and four all-freshman team honorees. Two of his players also earned Academic All-District accolades during his six seasons. Nichols was named the 2012 A-Sun Coach of the Year as he led the Eagles to a 22-10 record, including a 16-2 conference record en route to a regular season title.
In 2011, his FGCU team was led by Freshman of the Year Jill Hopper and finished the season with an overall 18-13 record, including a 10-3 league mark. His 2009 squad posted an overall 18-13 mark, including a 15-5 conference record to secure a No. 3 seed at the league tournament, falling to No. 1-seed Lipscomb in the championship match.
Nichols led the Eagles to the regular season A-Sun Championship in 2008 with a 20-8 overall record, including an 18-2 conference mark, while his team had two first-team all-conference selections and one freshman team performer.
Before moving to FGCU, Nichols posted an overall 276-100 record for a .734 winning percentage in 12 seasons (1996-2007) at Barry University. He guided the Buccaneers to two NCAA Division II National Championships and finished as the national runner-up once. Under his guidance, Barry won three Sunshine State Conference titles and made 11 trips to the NCAA tournament. Nichols was named the National Coach of the Year in 2001 after the Buccaneers posted an overall 32-2 record and won the school's second-ever national title.
Nichols coached 13 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Americans, five Volleyball Monthly All-Americans, four Daktronics, Inc., All-Americans and three CoSIDA Academic All-Americans during his time at Barry. He also coached 29 AVCA All-Region selections and 40 All-Sunshine State Conference selections.
Nichols was named the SSC Coach of the Year three times, coming in 2001, 2003 and 2004, and was named the AVCA South Region Coach of the Year in 1997, 2001 and 2004.
In his second season at Barry, Nichols led the Buccaneers to the 1997 NCAA Division II Elite Eight, where they lost to eventual national champion West Texas A&M. That season, the Bucs finished with a 28-5 record.
In 2001, Nichols and the Bucs would go on to capture the school's second national championship, his first, with a 32-2 record. The Bucs were dominant in the Elite Eight, losing only one game in three matches, while four players were named to the All-Elite Eight Tournament team.
In 2003, Barry set an NCAA Division II record by winning 55 consecutive games and finished that campaign with a 24-4 record and a Sunshine State Conference crown. A year later, Barry captured the schools' third national championship, the second under Nichols, with a 34-1 overall record. The Bucs finished the season with 33 consecutive wins, and played to just five games only once during the year.
Prior to his stint at Barry, Nichols was an assistant coach at Arizona State University, where he helped lead the Sun Devils to their most successful season in program history finishing the 1995 campaign ranked 10th nationally. He also served on the coaching staff at the University of California from 1988-92, and helped lead the Bears to the postseason on three occasions. Nichols coached the Cal Men's Collegiate Club Team from 1987 to 1993, winning five national titles, coming in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994.
Nichols, a native of southern California, grew up playing volleyball on the beach with the likes of Ron Von Hagen, Greg Lee and Wilt Chamberlain. He finished his collegiate playing career at UCLA in 1976 after helping the Bruins win three national championships.
A 1978 graduate of UCLA with a degree in History, Nichols enjoyed a successful professional career before beginning his coaching career as a graduate assistant at UCLA, where he tutored volleyball legend Karch Kiraly and helped the Bruins win the 1979 national title.
The Nichols File
Italy - Gioai Del Colle, 1983
Professional Beach Tour, 1978-82
Head Coach, FGCU, 2008-Present
Head Coach, Barry, 1996-2007
Assistant Coach, Arizona State, 1995
Head Coach, San Jose Storm (PVL), 1993-94
Assistant Coach, California, 1989-92
Graduate Assistant, UCLA, 1977-78
Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year (`01, `03, `04)
Volleyball Monthly National Coach of the Year (`01)
AVCA South Region Coach of the Year (`97, `01, `04)
A-Sun Coach of the Year (`12)
Nichols' Career Year-by-year
Total: 372-182 (.671) in 18 seasons
At Barry: 276-100 (.734)/12 seasons
1997: 28-5 (SSC Co-Champs/Div. II Nat'l Runner-Up)
2001: 32-2 (SSC Co-Champs/Div. II Nat'l Champions)
2004: 34-1 (SSC Champs/Div. II Nat'l Champions)
At FGCU: 96-82 (.539)/6 seasons
2008: 20-8, 18-2 (A-Sun Regular Season Champs)
2009: 18-13, 15-5 A-Sun (A-Sun Tournament Finalist)
2010: 7-19, 3-7 A-Sun
2011: 18-13, 10-3 A-Sun (A-Sun Tournament Semifinalist)
2012: 22-10, 16-2 A-Sun (A-Sun Tournament Semifinalist)
2013: 14-19, 9-9 A-Sun (A-Sun Tournament Semifinalist)
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