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Craig Nicholson
Position: Head Coach
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Nicholson Photos

 

Hired June 30, 2013

Nicholson, the head coach at Ball State for the past seven seasons, amassed a 241-162 record with the Cardinals and holds a 964-252 career record. Nicholson replaces Clint Myers, who accepted a similar position at Auburn on June 14. On top of coaching at Ball State, Nicholson was the associate head coach for the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) in 2008 and helped the team to a NPF title.

The fastest coach in program history to pass the 100 and 200-win marks, Nicholson was instrumental in Ball State capturing three Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular season championships (2009, 2010, 2012), a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and the program's first All-American. Offensive minded, Nicholson saw much growth in the Ball State program under his tutelage.

COACHING HIGHLIGHTS
- Prior to his arrival at BSU, single-season high in homers was 18. BSU had 70 in 2012.

- Cardinals were only team in the nation in 2012 to rank in the top 10 nationally in batting average (.318, 8th), slugging percentage (.543, 6th), runs scored (6.69/game, 5th) and home runs (1.27/game, 10th).

- BSU program record in 2008 with 151 stolen bases.

- Coached the 2009, 2010 and 2012 MAC Players of the Year

- In 2009 was MAC Coach of the Year and also had the Pitcher of the Year

- 2013 MAC Coach of the Year

- At BSU, had 31 All-MAC honorees, 13 first-team, 11 second-team and seven all-freshmen

COACH NICHOLSON'S YEAR-BY-YEAR DIVISION I RECORDS

Year School Overall Conference Highlight
2014 Arizona State 35-6 9-3  
2013 Ball State 37-17 18-3 MAC Champions 
2012 Ball State 40-15 17-3 MAC Champions
2011 Ball State 34-24 13-8  
2010 Ball State 43-16 17-5 MAC Champions/NCAA Tournament
2009 Ball State 29-24 18-3 MAC Champions
2008 Ball State 36-32 9-11  
2007 Ball State 22-34 8-14  
1996-2006 Central Arizona 723-90 (11 Seasons)  

4 NJCAA National Championships
7 Conference Championships
8 Regional Titles
4-Time Coach of the Year
3-Time NFCA JC Coach of the Year

Total 7 Seasons 999-258 (.794) 109-50 (.680) 1 NCAA Tournament Appearance

In 2013, Ball State finished its season in the MAC Tournament with a 37-17 overall record and 18-3 in conference for its fourth league title in the last five years and a MAC Coach of the Year accolade for Nicholson. Nicholson saw the program earn its first All-American, with a third team selection in the two-time MAC Player of the Year, Jennifer Gilbert.

A similar stop along the way to ASU as former head coach Clint Myers, Nicholson spent 11 years at Central Arizona, one of which with Myers, where his coaching record was 723-90. He led CAC to four National Junior College Athletic Association National Championships (1997, 1999, 2003, 2005), seven conference championships and eight regional titles. In that time he was named Coach of the Year four times and the NFCA Junior College Coach of the Year on three occasions.

In addition to his coaching duties at CAC, Nicholson was a professor of sport and fitness. He is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada where he earned his bachelor's degree in physical education. He earned his master's in sport science from the United States Sports Academy in Mobile, Ala.

Also joining Nicholson in the Sun Devil family are his wife April and his children Cade, Avery, Payton and Colby.

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