Sam Houston State University women’s basketball head coach Brenda Nichols will not be at the helm for the Bearkats anymore. SHSU Athletics reported that “Sam Houston State and women’s basketball coach Brenda Nichols have agreed to part ways after 12 years as the head of the program.”
It is no secret that Nichols has had a rough go-of-it lately. As the men’s basketball team prepares to make headlines at the Southland Conference Tournament, which the team has not missed out on in a decade, Nichols is in the news for a very different reason.
“We are very appreciative of the work Brenda Nichols has done for this program over the last 12 years,” Director of Athletics Bobby Williams said. “I thank her for all she has done for our program.”
On and off the court, the women’s basketball team has had a difficult week. Not only did they miss the conference tournament once again—finishing just 4-23 this season and notching only one win and 17 losses against SLC foes—but one of its star players has received backlash on Twitter for a racially insensitive video posted recently.
Nichols departs from SHSU with a career record of 119-235; she was 76-128 against SLC opponents. She took over in the 2006 season, going 5-24 in her inaugural year. Her last winning season came in 2012 when the team finish 18-15 with an impressive 13-5 conference record.
With the struggles on the court for the past few years, Nichols was likely on the hot seat anyway following the dismal 2017-2018 campaign. However, the recently surfaced controversial “blackface” video likely did not help matters.
Nichols’ collegiate coaching career at SHSU is highlighted by her successful 2013 season when the Kats were crowned regular season Southland Conference champions and competed in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament for the first time in school history. From 2011-2013, SHSU tallied 53 wins (the best three-year mark in program history).
“Sam Houston State holds a very special place in my heart,” Nichols said. “Twelve years ago I was given the most amazing opportunity. I was asked to return to my alma mater as the head coach of the SHSU women’s basketball team. I have been truly blessed by this opportunity.”
She leaves behind a 12-year coaching career at SHSU. As of now, there are no glaringly obvious prospects for the head coaching position. According to SHSU Athletics, “The search for a new head coach will begin immediately.”