Nicholas named Catawba’s new director of volleyball

Published 6:07 pm Saturday, March 2, 2019

Staff report

SALISBURY — Patrick Nicholas has been named director of volleyball at Catawba College, it was announced Friday by Larry Leckonby, the school’s director of athletics.

Nicholas will serve as head coach for the women’s indoor squad and oversee the development of the new beach volleyball program.

“First, I want to thank Larry Leckonby, President Lewis, Craig Turnbull and the rest of the search committee for this great opportunity,” said Nicholas. “Getting to know and learn of Larry’s leadership, vision and drive with the guidance of President Lewis, it became very clear to me that Catawba College is where my family and I are supposed to coach and lead as well as, serve, encourage and empower the lives of young women. Add in that is a beautiful campus and town located in one of the beautiful regions of North Carolina with so many awesome outdoor activities and easy access to the beaches and mountains just made the decision for us to make the move to Catawba an easy one.”

Nicholas brings several years of NCAA I head coaching experience to the position. He was the head coach at UNC Greensboro from 2009-13 and led the Spartans to 84 wins. His teams had five straight top four finishes in the Southern Conference, making him the winningest Division I volleyball coach at UNCG in the SoCon era.

Nicholas was also the head coach at Troy and Lehigh, and has been an assistant coach at Marshall, Ohio State, Purdue, FIU, and the U.S Naval Academy.

“I am very excited to welcome, Patrick, Megan and Logan to the Catawba family,” stated Leckonby. “Patrick has an extensive background recruiting and coaching women’s volleyball on the college level and coaching and teaching volleyball on the club level. In addition, his beach volleyball experience will help with establishing the beach program at Catawba.”

“My vision for Catawba College volleyball is to create a culture and legacy for sustained competitive excellence, academic performance and a distinctive student-athlete experience,” added Nicholas. “I can’t wait to get in the gym with the team and begin training.”

Nicholas has been with the Upward Stars Upstate Volleyball Club since 2015. He has been the head coach of the sand program and assisted with the top club teams at 18’s and 13’s. In addition, he has run the High Performance Training Volleyball School, training athletes in both indoor and beach volleyball. Also, Nicholas has coached with Florida Sun’s VBC, Austin Juniors VBC, River Cities VBC (San Antonio, TX), River City VBC (Huntington, WV), LAVA VBC (West Lafayette, IN) and CUVC (Charlotte, NC).

As an assistant at Marshall, Nicholas served as the recruiting coordinator as the Herd claimed the 2007 Conference USA Regular Season Championship. His Troy squad posted the most wins during its Division I era and he compiled a 121-92 mark in seven winning seasons at Lehigh University. In 1997, Lehigh claimed the Patriot League Tournament and won an NCAA Tournament play-in match to advance to it’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

Nicholas played volleyball at George Mason University as the Patriots earned their first-ever Top 10 national ranking and was conference tournament finalists in 1983. Graduating in 1986 with a degree in parks, recreation and leisure studies, Nicholas served as an assistant coach at GMU during their first two NCAA Final Four runs.

Nicholas has worked 13 plus years with the USA Volleyball National Teams, High Performance Programs and other Development Programs.

Nicholas fills the vacancy created by the departure of Ginger Hamric, the women’s volleyball coach at Catawba from 1990 through last season.

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