Posted by Matt Sullivan on 1999-06-09

Samford University Director of Athletics Bob Roller announced the naming of Vickie Nichols as head volleyball coach on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old Nichols replaces long-time coach Malinda Ashcraft, who resigned after nine seasons to accept a similar position with Athletes in Action in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Nichols was an assistant volleyball coach for six seasons at Northwest Shoals Community College while also serving as head softball coach for two years. She started her coaching career as the head basketball and volleyball coach at Hazelwood High School.

Nichols was a three-year letterwinner at Mississippi State where she finished her career as the all-time leader in service aces (167) and was twice named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education from MSU in 1987 and a Masters of Arts degree in Education from the University of North Alabama in 1994.

Nichols, the former Vickie Pickens, is married to Christopher Nichols and they are the parents of four children, Kelsey, 9, Kirby, 7, Kyndal, 4, and Kole, nine months.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.