|Year:||First Season (Third Overall)|
|Previous College:||Texas, 2006|
Tommy Nicholson returned for his second stint on the Hornet coaching staff as an assistant coach for the 2017 season. He had served as the team's infield and hitting coach for the 2011 and 2012 seasons before leaving Sacramento State to join the staff at Texas, his alma mater, where he was an assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator for the Longhorns for the last four seasons.
"Tommy is a coach that helped me understand who I was as a player, but more importantly he is a great person," said former Hornet Rhys Hoskins, who Nicholson helped become a Freshman All-American in 2012. "The way he connects with his players and gets the most out of them is something that is immeasurable. The program will benefit tremendously and the players will be lucky to have him around like I was as a freshman."
Under Nicholson’s direction, the Hornets finished the 2012 season with a school single-season record .979 fielding percentage, committing just 47 errors in 59 games. The 2011 squad finished with a .969 fielding mark, the third-best in school history. Nicholson's first recruiting haul at Texas – the class of 2013 – was ranked No. 2 nationally by Baseball America, and the 2014 class was ranked seventh by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
"I can't say enough about how Tommy helped me develop as an infielder and as a player. I am excited for the players and program to have Tommy back with the Hornets," former Hornet shortstop Scotty Burcham said.
"Tommy Nicholson was a huge factor in my decision to leave my area and commit to Sacramento State out of high school," Former Hornet pitcher Brennan Leitao said. "Tommy has a great reputation in Southern California, and I was confident that I would be in good hands with him and Reggie Christiansen. When I got on campus my first year, and got to work with the team and coaching staff, it didn't take long before I knew that I made the right decision. Tommy's knowledge of the game and coaching ability was crucial to the success of our team in 2012. It was tough to see him in the other dugout when we went down to Austin and played Texas in 2013, but I couldn't be more excited for this baseball program to have one of the best coaches in the nation back in our dugout."
Prior to his first stint at Sacramento State, Nicholson spent two seasons (2009-10) as a volunteer assistant coach at Texas where he worked with the infielders while serving as the first base coach. The Longhorns posted a 50-16-1 mark and finished as runner-up at the College World Series in 2009, before registering a 50-13 record and advancing to NCAA Super Regional play in 2010. The Longhorns batted .286 in 2010 with 87 stolen bases, while the 2009 squad batted .288 as a team with 74 stolen bases. In 2009, Texas ranked eighth nationally with a .976 fielding percentage and a year later, the Longhorns led the nation with a .980 clip.
Before entering coaching, Nicholson played six years of professional baseball. He was selected in the 11th round of the 2000 Major League Baseball draft by the Chicago White Sox. He reached the AAA level during his career from 2000-05 with Chicago and the Colorado Rockies.
For his collegiate playing career, he missed only three starts as a second baseman during his three seasons (1998-2000) at Texas. Nicholson compiled a .327 career average at UT with 147 runs scored, 223 hits, 37 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, 114 RBI and 20 stolen bases. He was named the team’s most valuable player in 1999 and 2000.
Nicholson earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas in 2006 and was married to his wife, Marin, in 2013. The couple has a daughter, Shay Elise.