Nicholson Hired as EIU Softball Coach

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Published on July 19 2013 8:18 pm
Last Updated on July 19 2013 8:22 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Eastern Illinois University Director of Athletics Barbara Burke has announced the hiring of Angie Nicholson as the Panthers new softball head coach.  Nicholson will join the EIU staff in early August.

Nicholson recently completed her seventh season as the head coach at Cleveland State University where she has helped build the Vikings program into a top team in the Horizon League.  Nicholson posted a record of 211-152 at Cleveland State.

“We are very excited to be able to attract and hire a sitting NCAA Division I head coach in Angie Nicholson to take over our program here at Eastern Illinois,” said Burke of the hire.  “Her program at Cleveland State has accomplished something that we aspire to here at EIU and that is to compete in the NCAA Tournament.  We look forward to Coach Nicholson building upon the foundation and success that EIU softball has had over the last several years.”

“I want to thank Barbara Burke and Eastern Illinois community for this opportunity to take over the Panthers softball program.  I’m thrilled to take over a program that has so much support from the community and pride surrounding it,” said Nicholson.  “As the softball coach at Eastern Illinois my goal is to work to take the program to new heights, which includes competing for conference championships and making the NCAA Tournament.”

Making the NCAA Tournament and winning conference championships are something that Nicholson has familiarity with from her time at Cleveland State.  She led the program to Horizon League regular season titles in 2008 and 2010 sandwiched around a Horizon League Tournament Championship in 2009.  The 2009 tournament championship was Cleveland State’s first as a member of the Horizon League as the team advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997.  Nicholson coached the Vikings to tournament runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2008.

During her tenure at Cleveland State, Nicholson coached three Horizon League Players of the Year and three Pitchers of the Year.  In 2013 she coached the Horizon League Player and Newcomer of the Year.  Nicholson herself has been named the Horizon League Coach of the Year two times (2008 & 2010).Prior to her time at Cleveland State, Nicholson coached one season at Butler in 2006.  She had one season at NAIA member Ursuline College where she increased the program’s win total from three to 25 in her one season.  She began her coaching career as the head coach at Cuyahoga Community College (2000-04) where she posted 94 wins making the Region 12 Tournament in three of four seasons.  She was the NJCAA Region 12 Coach of the Year in 2004 as her team finished sixth in the nation.  Her collegiate coaching record is 348-263-1.

Nicholson played softball at Cleveland State where she earned her undergraduate degree in 2000.  She was a two time All-Conference selection as a catcher.