McPherson College’s newest coach is looking forward to leading a team that will be highly involved on campus. At a college where participation is part of its mission, Josh Nichols, the new head women’s basketball coach, hopes his team will set an example.
“I want my team to get as involved in campus as possible,” he said. “And, not just by going to other athletic events. There’s not a better place to do that than at a school like McPherson College where there are so many things going on, from music, art, and theatre, to car shows.”
Nichols said he had the opportunity as a student to get involved in activities outside of his comfort zone and believes that students might never know what they enjoy until they get a chance to experience it.
“Part of the goals for my team will be personal growth, not just as a player, but as a whole person,” he said. “I think at a smaller college where everybody is so supportive you get an opportunity to do that and I am excited to be a part of it. I’m also excited to be part of a college that offers students an opportunity to attend with competitive scholarships for both athletes and non-athletes.”
Nichols comes to McPherson after three seasons as Head Women’s Basketball Coach and Assistant Athletic Director for Native American Recruiting at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, where he has directed the Warriors to 36 wins and three straight Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) postseason berths. The 2017-2018 team went 16-14 overall for the program’s first winning season since 2010. Under his guidance, six players received All-Sooner Athletic Conference honors. Nichols’ teams were also successful in the classroom, maintaining a team GPA over 3.0 the last three years, while two individuals earned Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors.
He is looking forward to continuing his coaching success at McPherson College and about competing in the KCAC. “I’m exciting about being part of the success that the women’s team had before I got here,” he said. “The cupboard is not bare. There is a lot of talent on this team. Our goal will be to finish in the top half of our conference.”
A native of Blackwell, Oklahoma, and a member of the Chickasaw Nation, Nichols served as athletic director for the Oklahoma Indian All-State Basketball Game from 2011 to 2015 and helped found the Oklahoma Native All-State Association in 2016. He earned a Bachelor of Science in history and social science with a minor in psychology from Oklahoma Wesleyan in 2003 and a Master of Liberal Arts with a concentration in history from Baker University in 2005.
While serving as assistant director for Native American recruiting at Bacone, Nichols looked for pockets of under-recruited Native American students across the country and offered them opportunities to further their education at college.
Nichols and his wife DeAnn have two children – Luke and Katie.