Youngstown State head women’s basketball coach John Barnes has completed his staff with the hiring of John Nicolais, a highly successful assistant coach at the Division II level for 10 seasons.
Nicolais comes to Youngstown after helping Drury University to 101 wins over the past five seasons. He also spent five years at Glenville State when the Lady Pioneers went 145-22. Nicolais’s teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament nine times in his 10 seasons.
“John is a very hard worker who knows this area having grown up a couple hours from here,” Barnes said. “He coached collegiately in West Virginia and has been to the Sweet 16 a couple times and many NCAA tournaments. That kind of experience is invaluable.”
Nicolais was responsible for working with the Drury perimeter players and coached two All-American’s and a squad that was consistently among the best in 3-point shooting percentage. Katie Pritchard led Division II in 3-point field goal percentage in 2009-10 and 2010-11, and teammate and All-American Lindsay Ballweg was second in the country in 3-point shooting in 2009-10.
Nicolais also helped with monitoring academic progress at Drury, and the Lady Panthers had the nation’s top grade-point average in 2011-12 regardless of division with a 3.709. They had a 3.591 GPA in 2010-11, which was third in Division II.
Drury, located in Springfield, Mo., was 19-10 and went to the NCAA Tournament in Nicolais’ first season on the bench in 2008-09. The Lady Panthers then went 28-7 while winning the Great Lakes Valley Conference and advanced to the Sweet 16 the following season. Drury won the GLVC West Division title and finished with 20 wins in each of the next two seasons. The Lady Panthers went 14-13 in 2012-13.
At Glenville State in West Virginia, Nicolais worked directly with two All-Americans and GSC’s all-time leading scorer as the perimeter coach. The Lady Pioneers were 33-3 in 2006-07, 30-3 in 2005-06, 24-8 in 2004-05, and 29-4 in both 2003-04 and 2002-03. Glenville State went 84-6 in West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contests in Nicolais’s five years.
Prior to joining Glenville State, Nicolais was an assistant coach at Gilmer County High School in Glenville, W.Va. His team in 2001 advanced to the state title game. Nicolais also coached volleyball at Gilmer from 2000-03 with his 2003 squad winning the West Virginia Class A State Championship.
Nicolais joins Brenna Banktson, Andrew Crane and Courtney Davidson on Barnes’ staff.
Courtesy: YSU Sports Information