Barnes Arico Hires Four to Complete Women's Basketball Staff
Chester Nichols is in his second year with the University of Michigan women's basketball program in 2013-14.
Nichols helped Michigan to one of its most successful seasons in program history during his first season in 2012-13, as the Wolverines tied program records for wins (22) and consecutive wins (10) and made just their third second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Nichols worked with the post players, helping seniors Rachel Sheffer and Nya Jordan each earn All-Big Ten honorable mention.
Nichols joins the Maize and Blue after spending two seasons with the University of Kansas women's basketball program as the perimeter coach while assisting in the program's recruiting efforts.
In two seasons with the Jayhawks, Nichols helped KU to a combine 42-26 overall record while making postseason appearances in the WNIT (2011) and NCAA (2012) tournaments. During the 2012 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, KU advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1998 and the third in program history.
Nichols arrived in Lawrence, Kan. after spending the 2009-10 season at Central Florida, where he served in a similar role with the Knights while serving as the recruiting coordinator. That season, UCF's recruiting class was ranked No. 44 in the nation and No. 2 in Conference USA by ESPN's Hoopgurlz. Prior to his year at UCF, Nichols spent the previous six seasons as an assistant coach at West Virginia University.
A native of Ocala, Fla., he is widely considered one of the nation's top recruiters, and he played an instrumental role in bringing five top-20 recruiting classes to WVU. Following the 2009-10 season, several of Nichols' WVU signees garnered all-conference honors.
During Nichols' tenure at WVU, the Mountaineers appeared in three NCAA tournaments and advanced to the second round on two occasions. He also helped guide West Virginia to the championship game of the WNIT in 2005 and to the BIG EAST championship game in 2006. At WVU, Nichols helped sign five top 20 classes which included eight All Big East performers. The class included a BIG EAST Most Improved and a BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year.
In the summer of 2008, He was recognized as one of the nation's best assistant coaches by earning an invitation to Nike's prestigious Villa 7 Coaches Consortium in Beaverton, Ore. In addition to his career, four players that Nichols signed or coached moved on to play professionally in the WNBA.
Prior to his time at WVU, Nichols worked with the adidas/Premier Players, an AAU organization in Ocala. He spent one season as the head coach of the Florida Starzz and chief evaluator of the Rookie Sensations.
Nichols has also worked as an assistant coach at Central Florida Community College, where he helped coach one NJCAA All-American and three Mid-Florida all-conference players.
Nichols is a 1997 graduate of Greenville College, where he played three seasons of varsity football while pursuing his degree in special education.