TULSA VOLLEYBALL NAMES ASSISTANT COACHES
March 25, 2014
"I'm extremely excited about our staff," Wills said. "Individually, Dave and Megan bring strengths to the program that can balance who I am as a coach. We are getting exactly what I was looking for in a coaching staff with these two individuals. We were looking for good people who are passionate about the sport and will do everything they can to make Tulsa volleyball successful. More than anything, our three personalities fit well together."
"We want to create a positive culture that balances hard work and enjoyment of what you're doing that will help our team be successful on the court, in the classroom and in life," added Wills.
Nichols spent the last 18 seasons as a collegiate head coach and has posted an overall 375-182 record in those seasons, while leading two of his teams to NCAA Division II National Championships.
"I'm excited about Dave as he brings in a wealth of experience that will be very valuable for our staff," Wills said. "He's a great person with great energy. He'll do a good job training our kids with a positive environment."
Nichols has spent the past six seasons at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he compiled a 99-82 record. At FGCU, Nichols coached 11 All-Atlantic Sun selections, including five first-team all-conference selections and four all-freshman team honorees. Nichols was named the 2012 A-Sun Coach of the Year as he led the Eagles to a 22-10 record. He posted 18-plus wins in four of six seasons at FGCU.
Prior to his stint at FGCU, Nichols coached 12 seasons (1996-2007) at Barry University, where he posted an overall 276-100 record. He led 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 coached 13 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Americans and three CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. He also coached 29 AVCA All-Region selections and 40 all-Sunshine State Conference selections at Barry.
Nichols was named the SSC Coach of the Year three times in 2001, 2003 and 2004 and was named AVCA South Region Coach of the Year in 1997, 2001 and 2004. Barry won the national championship in 2001 and 2004, as the Bucs went 32-2 in 2001 and 34-1 in 2004. Barry set an NCAA Division II record by winning 55 consecutive games in the 2003 season.
Pendergast, who graduated from Texas A&M this past December, spent the 2013 volleyball season as a student assistant coach for the Aggies.
Pendergast played her final two years with Texas A&M after transferring from Nebraska. At, A&M, she played in 59 of 62 matches as the starting libero. She played two seasons at Nebraska.
"I'm excited about Megan's desire to do anything that she can to help this program," Wills said. "She's played at an extremely high level and has been part of two quality volleyball programs, playing at both Texas A&M and Nebraska. Megan has a wealth of experience from a player's perspective and she can help bring that to the staff. She is an extremely competitive person and can help instill that competitiveness in our program."
A League City, Texas native, Pendergast recorded 400-plus digs in each of her two seasons with the Aggies. She posted 419 digs, which ranked 10th most in school history, and averaged 4.03 digs per set in her junior season. As a senior, Pendergast recorded 441 digs, tying for seventh place on the school's single-season digs list, and averaged 3.90 digs per set.
Pendergast's 4.03 digs per set as a junior ranked her fifth in the Big 12 Conference, while she also ranked seventh in the Big 12 with 4.00 digs per set in league matches. Her 3.90 digs per set during her senior season ranked 11th in the SEC, while she also ranked seventh in the SEC with 4.10 digs per set in league matches. Pendergast posted double-digit digs in 24 matches as a senior and in 25 matches her junior season.
She recorded a career-high 32 digs against Arkansas in her senior season, which was the second most digs by an A&M player during the rally scoring era. Pendergast was named the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week when she averaged 5.14 digs per set in two victories over Missouri and Alabama and added a career-high eight assists against the Tigers in her senior season.
Pendergast earned her degree in psychology.
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