Nichols hits the ground running with Skipjacks
Ex-Chesapeake player, assistant coach now running women’s program
WYE MILLS Damon Nichols is committed to rebuilding the Chesapeake College women’s basketball program.
"I’d like to thank Frank (Szymanski, Chesapeake’s athletic director) for believing I can do the job," said Nichols of his recent appointment as the college’s head women’s basketball coach. "I’m excited to get started. I already have three early commitments from new players and expect to have at least two returning players."
Nichols has a long history with Chesapeake College, dating back to his own playing days in the mid-1990s when he contributed on high-scoring teams led by all-American Errick Roberts and coached by Norm Amorose. He served the last two years as an assistant with Chesapeake head men’s basketball coach John Mappas, helping the Skipjacks to the 2008 NJCAA Division I Region XX championship.
Nichols previously served as a member of Steve Perry’s boys’ basketball coaching staff at North Caroline High School, helping guide the Bulldogs to three North Bayside Division titles and a Bayside Conference championship.
"The thing I learned from both coaches (Mappas and Perry) is you have to be seen and get your name out there," said Nichols, who works at NCHS in the in-school suspension program. "I’ve done that, and I’m still out recruiting. People are starting to know Chesapeake is on the rise again in women’s basketball."
Nichols, who twice served as the North Bayside coach in the annual Bayside Conference girls’ basketball all-star game, said the Skipjacks will be known for a very definitive style of play.
"We’re going to play defense, and we’re going to run up and down the floor," said Nichols, who is recruiting with that style of play in mind. "I learned a lot about defensive philosophy from Coach Mappas, who is really a defensive guru."
While the Skipjacks did not field a women’s basketball team last season, the program is only two years removed from having set a school record with 15 victories. Nichols said he is committed to "building a very competitive women’s basketball program at Chesapeake."
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