Courtesy: Amherst Athletics
Amherst, Massachusetts — Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Head Coach, Amherst University Nick Nichols Today, after 25 years of service, I announced my retirement.
Nichols was named the NCAA Division III Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year by CSCAA for three consecutive seasons from 2006-08. The Swimming and Diving Coaches Association also honored Nichols as one of the 100 Greatest Coaches of the Past 100 Years at its 2021 Centenary Celebration.
“I will miss the swimmers and divers who have been on this journey over the last 25 years,” Nichols said. “They made this the highlight of my career. Thanks to them, I never thought going to the pool was work, even during the toughest times.” Sharing the misery that comes with it has been an absolute highlight of my professional life and nothing can replace the experience at Amherst.”
Nichols led the women’s team to a 173-29-1 dual tournament record, including three undefeated dual tournament seasons, the Little Three Championship, and the 2013 NESCAC Championship. His Amherst women’s teams have placed him in the top 10 17 times at the NCAA Championships, including 2007 and 2008, and his 12 consecutive runner-up finishes.th– Placement in each of the last two championships.
“Nick’s leadership, dedication, friendship and mentorship have meant so much to so many people over the last two decades and he left an incredible legacy,” said Amherst Athletics Director Don Faulstick. . “His team and individual success is even more impressive when you consider the hurdles at the facility here. He is a legend and will be missed. I pray for you.”
Nichols led the men’s team to a 163-34 dual-meat record, including nine Little Three championships and three undefeated dual-meat seasons. He has led the men’s team to his eight top 10 finishes in the NCAA Championships, including his back-to-back 5th place finishes in 2009 and 2010.
Nichols came to Amherst after five years as an assistant swimming coach at Yale University. Before attending Yale University, he spent two seasons as head swim coach at the University of Vermont and was named the 1990 Swim Coach of the Year.
“The person who gave me this opportunity was Mr. Peter Gooding, who I respected as one of the great minds in college athletics and athletics management at the time. My 25 years at Amherst seem short, with recently retired basketball coach Dave Hickson having been there for 48 years, including as a student. It made an impact.
“And over the years our assistants and dive coaches, Mandy and Kai, Karin, Cody, Kathleen and Matt, have taught me so much, made every day fun, and have become close friends. There are many other people on campus who have made such a precious trip.”
Nichols began coaching after completing an impressive swimming career at the University of St. Lawrence, where he won five NCAA individual championships. Nichols won three individual events (100 back, 200 back, and 200 IM) and won the championship 400-yard freestyle in her relay. It took us to 3rd place. He won the 100-yard backstroke in 1981 and regained the 200-yard IM title in 1982.
‘All his players will miss him very much,’ said Amherst Sr. Sophie Cubic Said. “He was a beloved figure in the community and we all valued his mentorship very much.”