NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)- Stephen F. Austin Director of Athletics Robert Hill announced Tuesday the hiring of Nicole Dickson as head coach of the Ladyjack softball program.
Dickson comes to SFA from Tyler Junior College, where she started the softball program in 2013 as the head coach. Dickson took her first head coaching job at Paris Junior College from 2012-13 and was an assistant coach at Howard College from 2010-12 and a graduate assistant at Hardin-Simmons University from 2008-09.
Overall in three years as a head coach, Dickson has won two conference championships and has taken her team to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament twice with two top ten finishes.
"Nicole is a rising star in collegiate softball," said Hill. "To accomplish what she did at TJC was remarkable. Taking a two-year program to national prominence is nothing short of amazing. We think she can put SFA in a position to contend for Southland Conference titles every season. She has proven herself as a head coach and is more than ready to lead our softball program."
In just the second season for the TJC softball program in 2016, Dickson led the Apache Ladies to a 60-6 overall record, a conference championship and a fifth place finish at the national tournament. Her staff was named the Region 14 Coaching Staff of the Year for the plethora of team accomplishments. Dickson got the program on the right track in 2015 with a 39-18 record in the inaugural season, helping TJC qualify for regionals and place third in its league.
In her first head coaching stint, Dickson led the 2012-13 Paris Junior College Lady Dragons to the school's first ever region title and first NJCAA National Tournament appearance. The Lady Dragons went 38-19 on the year and 15-5 in league play, claiming both conference and regional titles. They then went on to finish the season ninth at the NJCAA National Tournament. Following the season, Dickson and her staff won Coaching Staff of the Year honors for NJCAA Region 14.
Prior to Paris, Dickson served as the assistant coach at Howard College for three years and was the GA at Hardin-Simmons University. During her time at Howard, the softball program was NJCAA Region 5 Champions in 2011 and 2012, placing seventh nationally in 2012 and ninth nationally in 2011 at the NJCAA National Tournament. While at Hardin-Simmons, she helped guide the Cowgirls to an American Southwest Conference West Conference Championship, finishing the season at 31-12.
Dickson split her playing career between stops at Eastern New Mexico University and Howard College. At ENMU, she posted a 22-14 record as a pitcher while playing for Armando Quiroz and Amber Daniel. She graduated ENMU summa cum laude and was the 2008 Undergraduate of the Year.
Prior to ENMU, Dickson played at Howard and boasted a perfect 4.0 GPA in the classroom. She was an all-conference and all-region selection as a pitcher, posting a 19-4 overall record. She also hit .365 for her career.
Dickson inherits a Ladyjack program that finished the 2016 season strong at the Southland Conference Tournament in May. SFA won three games at the event in Lake Charles, Louisiana to reach the semifinals for the second time in the past three years. After finishing 28-29 overall and 13-13 in SLC play, the Ladyjacks return a strong core group of players for the upcoming 2016-17 campaign. Included in that mix is NFCA All-Region first baseman Brittany Lewis, all-conference third baseman Taylor LeFlore and the top two pitchers on the squad inCallee Guffey and Makayla Sikes.
What They're Saying About Nicole Dickson:
Patty Gasso – Oklahoma Head Coach
"Nicole is an energetic and competitive coach who will come in and make an immediate impact for Stephen F. Austin. She has great knowledge and passion for the game and will get the right players to fit her system. SFA got a good one!"
Tim Drain – Tyler Junior College Director of Athletics
"While we hate to lose Coach Dickson, we are proud for her and this opportunity at SFA. She came to Tyler Junior College and built a program literally from the ground up. In just two short years, she turned TJC into a national contender. We sincerely thank her for her time at TJC, and wish her all the best at SFA."