JV volleyball Coach Heide Nichol named head coach

Husky netters have a familiar face coaching this year in Coach Heide Nichol as Coach Steve Emmert steps away from the position.

As an administrator with School District 55, Coach Emmert had to resign his position as a coach. As a result, Coach Nichol moves to the head position from junior varsity.

Coach Nichol has been with the program since 1993. She assisted Coach Emmert as a volunteer that year then became junior varsity coach. She worked with both Coach Emmert and Coach Shannon Dobney.

Before coaching, Coach Nichol played high school volleyball, graduating from Sweet Home High School in 1989. She went on to play at George Fox University where she earned her degree in elementary education.

She returned to Sweet Home, began teaching at East Linn Christian Academy and coaching at Sweet Home High School.

She taught for six years before resigning to take care of her family, which includes her husband, Dustin, and children, Hayden, 1, and Sydney, 3.

“I love the sport of volleyball,” Coach Nichol said. “I really enjoy watching kids just get through the hard stuff and overcome a lot of obstacles. I like watching them develop as people. I think what we do here matters. It develops their character and their morals to certain degree. I think it’s great to be a part of that.”

Coach Nichol is competitive too.

“I don’t think I could get out of this,” she said. In high school, she went to state her junior and senior years. Her team placed second her senior year, although she said the team “should’ve gotten first.”

“(Coach Emmert’s) organization and his demand for perfection or as near to perfection as we can come, those are the things I’d like to emulate,” Coach Nichol said. “He demanded it of himself. In that respect, I think he’s a great role model for me as a coach. He taught me everything I know.”

Coach Nichol thinks she will fit somewhere between Coach Dobney and Coach Emmert.

They had two different styles, Coach Nichol said. Coach Dobney was intense and hyped, often out of her seat and yelling. Coach Emmert was intense, but on the sidelines, quiet.

“He didn’t get upset about anything,” Coach Nichol said. “She got upset and got into the game.”

Coach Nichol hopes to capture some of that enthusiasm in her own style as head coach, and she will draw influences from many contacts with different players and coaches throughout her life.

As far as the team, “it’s not going to look a whole lot different,” Coach Nichol said. “The differences will come with personnel.”

With a team typically short on height, Coach Emmert stressed a quick offense, Coach Nichol said. She expects that quick offense again this year. The team will have solid passing ability with seven seniors, two juniors an a sophomore. Many of the seniors have been playing since they were sophomores, “so now that we’re all up on top, I think that experience is going to serve us well. They’re so intense and hard-working. They are definitely winners in their attitudes.

“I really couldn’t take over in a better year, not even looking forward to success, it’s just that these girls are so willing to work and so single-minded in their goals.”