June 4, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Chester Nichols, one of the premier recruiters in the nation, has been hired as an assistant coach on the UCF women's basketball staff, head coach Joi Williams announced Thursday. Nichols spent the previous six seasons as an assistant coach at West Virginia University.
"I am extremely excited to add someone with Chester's character and experience to our staff," Williams said of the hiring. "The success that he has experienced in recruiting and in player development is a direct result of his tremendous work ethic. I have no doubt that he will make a positive impact on our student-athletes and help us to continue towards our goal to become a top-25 program."
Nichols will be responsible for overseeing the program's recruiting efforts and will also work with the team's perimeter players.
A native of Ocala, Fla., Nichols 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. While at West Virginia, Nichols was responsible for recruiting, on-the-court instruction of the Mountaineer post players and assisting in the overall operation of the program.
"First and foremost I am totally ecstatic about this opportunity," said Nichols. "The future at UCF is very bright, and I am looking forward to competing for another Conference USA title. There is a first-class staff in place at UCF with Coach [Greg] Brown, Coach [Courtney] Locke and obviously Coach Williams. I have known Coach Williams for a long time which should make the transition a lot easier than places I have gone in the past."
Nichols 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 the summer of 2008.
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.
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.
"I am really exciting about coming home and that just puts icing on the cake for me," Nichols continued. "There is a good group of players at UCF now and talented kids coming in to the program. Recruiting will be a key to continuing to build on the success they have had."
In 2008-09, Williams guided UCF to a 17-17 overall record, including an 11-5 record in C-USA play which left the Knights in a tie for second place in the league standings. UCF won four games in four days to claim the C-USA tournament title and earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
UCF Director of Athletics Keith Tribble announced on Monday that Williams, the 2008-09 C-USA Coach of the Year, has signed a new four-year contract to remain at the helm of the women's basketball program through at least the end of the 2012-13 season.
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