Spartans' Nichols announces retirement
Vickie Nichols led the Mountain Brook High School volleyball team to a pair of state championships during her four-year stint as head coach.
Jan. 14, 2021 — Mountain Brook High School volleyball coach Vickie Nichols has announced her retirement after more than three decades in the coaching profession. She leaves behind a lasting legacy on the sport both in Mountain Brook and throughout the state of Alabama.
“We appreciate Coach Nichols’ commitment and dedication to our student-athletes and athletic department,” MBHS Athletics Director Benny Eaves said. “While I am happy for her and her family, I am also saddened in knowing we are saying goodbye to a Spartan family member, quality coach, and great person who has contributed to our success. We congratulate Coach Nichols on her retirement and a wonderful career.”
MBHS hired Nichols in 2017 and experienced extensive success under her leadership. She guided the Spartans to back-to-back state championships in 2019 (7A) and 2020 (6A) while accumulating a 162-48 record in four seasons.
Her teams also appeared in the state semifinals in 2017 and 2018 and won three consecutive area championships from 2018 to 2020.
“It’s been a special place. I told Benny when I came here I knew that this would probably be my last stop in my coaching career, and so it was a good stop,” Nichols said. “I’m excited that I had the opportunity and that they trusted me to take the program and continue the success that was already here.”
Nichols played volleyball at Bradshaw High School in Florence and then at Mississippi State University. She landed her first coaching job in 1988 at Hazelwood High School in Town Creek before starting the volleyball program at Northwest-Shoals Community College.
Nichols moved on to become the head coach at Samford University from 1999 to 2002.
Following her time at the college level, Nichols returned to coaching preps and spent time as an assistant at Oak Mountain and Hoover high schools.
She then coached at an international Christian school in Ecuador until moving back to Alabama and taking the job at Mountain Brook.
Nichols knew she wanted to remain on the sideline through the 2020 season and end her career on top. The last game she coached culminated in a three-set sweep of Hartselle to clinch Mountain Brook’s fifth volleyball state title since 2014.
“After we won the state championship, I thought, ‘You know what, if this is the last match I ever coach in my career, I won a state championship, and I’m good with that. I can walk away and be satisfied,’” Nichols said. “I’ve had a blessed career.”
MBHS will now begin searching for a candidate to fill its coaching vacancy and hopes to have a new coach in place this spring.