K-State Adds Nicholson as Chief of Staff

K-State women’s basketball head coach Jeff Mittie has added a new voice to the coaching staff, as Mittie has hired 2021 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) National Division II Assistant Coach of the Year Mike Nicholson as the program’s new Chief of Staff.

“We are pleased to announce the addition of Coach Nick to our staff as Chief of Staff,” stated Mittie about the newest hire. “He is an accomplished and well-respected coach most recently being named WBCA assistant coach of the year. He has most recently worked with future hall of fame coach Dave Slifer and together won an NCAA Division II National Championship in 2018 at Central Missouri.”

Nicholson’s responsibilities will include: supervise and assist in all recruiting operations and staff, direct and oversee advance scouting and analytics, help create and continue implementation of player development program and to assist the head coach in alumni and fan engagement.

Before moving to the Little Apple, Nicholson was the top assistant coach at Central Missouri and worked with the guards. During his time in Warrensburg, Nicholson helped the Jennies to a 161-53 (.752) overall record, the 2018 NCAA Division II National Championship, a 2021 NCAA Division II Final Four appearance, two MIAA regular season titles and one MIAA postseason crown.   

Nicholson helped in the development of three-time All-American Paige Redmond as well as All-Americans Morgan Fleming and Megan Skaggs. The Jennies had five All-Americans during Nicholson’s tenure and 20 named to the All-MIAA team. 

As part of his duties at Central Missouri, Nicholson was the lead recruiter and in charge of scouting. He ran the scout team, going over opponents’ offensive and defensive sets in practice. Off the court, Nicholson was involved in the academic side and was in charge of study hall. In Nicholson’s six years, 60 Jennies earned MIAA Academic Honor Roll honors.

Prior to joining Central Missouri, Nicholson was an assistant coach for the men’s team at Missouri Western under head coach Tom Smith.

Nicholson spent 14 seasons over two stints as the top assistant at Missouri Western, most recently from 2007-2013. During his time in St. Joseph, he helped the Griffon men to 228 wins, three MIAA regular season championships, a pair of MIAA Tournament titles and five appearances in the NCAA-II Tournament. He helped in the development of two All-Americans, two MIAA MVPs and 11 All-MIAA players.

Before his time at Missouri Western, he spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Kansas City. Under the tutelage of Lee Hunt and Bob Sundvold, Nicholson developed a philosophy and understanding of what makes for a successful player and program at the collegiate level. He was a member of the staff that led the Kansas City to the most wins in Division I in school history and he also played a role in the development of Tony Dumas, drafted in the first round (19th overall) by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1995 NBA Draft.

Nicholson played one season of college basketball at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, before transferring to the University of Missouri where he received his degree in Business Administration in 1990. Nicholson received his master’s degree in Educational Administration from UMKC in 1994.

Mike and wife, Lisa, have two boys, Jake and Joe.

For the 2021-22 season, the Wildcats will return eight letter winners led by 2022 All-America candidate Ayoka Lee and All-Big 12 candidate Rachel Ranke. K-State will add the services of five newcomers including: Rebekah Dallinger (Sydney, Australia), Brylee Glenn (Kansas City, Missouri), Jaelyn Glenn (Kansas City, Missouri) Malene Lind Pedersen (Aabyhoj, Denmark) and Serena Sundell (Maryville, Missouri).

What They Are Saying About Mike Nicholson

“Coach Nick is an outgoing, enthusiastic coach with a keen analytical mind and an intense passion for recruiting. I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for our program at Central and no one is more deserving of this opportunity. He’s a basketball lifer.” – Dave Slifer, Central Missouri women’s basketball head coach

“Coach Nick is one of the hardest working coaches that I have ever known. His style combines dedication with personal relationships. I have no doubt that he will do amazing things for Kansas State Women’s Basketball and as an alum I am proud to see him wearing K-State purple.” – Nicole Ohlde Johnson, Newman University assistant women’s basketball coach & former K-State women’s basketball All-American 

“Coach Nick was highly influential in why I chose UCM and why I had such an incredible college basketball experience. He is a relentless recruiter, scouter, and player development specialist. However, he is best at forming and maintaining relationships with his players. He always got the best out of me and helped me reach my full potential. He cares deeply about all of his players on and off the court. I am extremely lucky to have played for someone with his caliber of character and knowledge of the game. He will be an amazing addition to K-State women’s basketball, as he always makes everyone around him better.” – Morgan Fleming, former Central Missouri women’s basketball student-athlete and 2020 All-American

“Coach Nicholson is absolutely one of the best in the country. He has worked diligently to become a great evaluator, recruiter and coach. He brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to any staff and he’s always willing to share with and mentor younger coaches. He is a huge asset to a program.  He is a proven winner and an excellent hire.” – Carrie Eighmey, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Nebraska-Kearney