Nichole Willis enters her third season as an assistant coach at UC San Diego in 2013. A former All-American at Fresno State, Willis assists in all aspects of the coaching process, including recruiting, academics, development, and administrative duties. She also takes a particular focus in coaching outfield defense and hitting.
The Tritons won a school-record 45 games in each of her first two seasons and have made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division II national title game. UCSD finished as the national runner-up in 2012 after winning the national championship for the first time in 2011.
She was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year in 2011 and the NFCA West Region Coaching Staff of the Year in 2012.
Willis shared her
knowledge of life behind the plate with freshmen catchers Charly Swanberg and
Caitlin Brown, two critical components of the Tritons' national championship
run. In addition, Willis assisted Gerckens with Triton hitters in 2011, helping
UCSD to a .324 batting average and 19 RBI during the NCAA Division II
Willis came to La Jolla after serving as a varsity assistant coach at Clovis High School in Central California, where she was the team's strength and conditioning coordinator in 2010. Prior to joining the CHS staff, she was an assistant with the Fresno Force U18 Gold club team and helped lead the squad to back-to-back appearances at Nationals. Willis has also served as a catching and hitting instructor for the last three years and worked briefly as a personal trainer.
Willis was a four-year starter for head coach Margie Wright at Fresno State, where she caught for a pair of Olympians in Jamie Southern and Robin Mackin. A three-time Easton All-American, she hit .299 for her career with 29 doubles, 23 home runs, 127 RBI and 103 runs scored. She was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Freshman of the Year in 2004 and went on to earn all-conference accolades in three of her four seasons with the Bulldogs.