Nichole Willis will enter her second season as an assistant
coach at Sacramento State in 2014-15, and now has seven years of
Willis, who played four years at Fresno State, works with the catchers and outfielders, assists with recruiting and the pitchers, and handles team travel.
In her first season with the Hornets, the 2014 squad finished the year 25-21 overall and 12-4 in the Big Sky Conference. The .750 winning percentage in conference play was the program’s best in 21 years, and the Hornets finished in second place in the final standings, just a half game back of first-place Idaho State (13-4).
In addition, Sacramento State saw a program-record 11 of its players receive some form of all-Big Sky recognition, including unanimous first team all-league selection and Big Sky Pitcher of the Year Caitlin Brooks. The Hornets also showed steady growth throughout the season. In fact, after posting an 8-13 record through the first 21 games of the year, Sacramento State went 17-8 over its final 25 games.
In the summer of 2014, she was one of 20 players selected to compete for the USA Women's Baseball National Team. As one of the team's two primary catchers, Willis won a silver medal with the squad at the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup in Miyazaki, Japan.
Prior to Sacramento State, Willis spent three seasons (2011-13) as an assistant coach at UC San Diego. With the Tritons, she helped coach the team to a combined 123-61 overall record, including a 2011 national championship and a 2012 national runner-up finish.
In fact, UC San Diego won a school-record 45 games in 2011 and 2012, and Willis was part of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year in 2011, and the NFCA West Region Coaching Staff of the Year in 2012.
Prior to UC San Diego, Willis was a varsity assistant coach for Clovis High School (2010) and an assistant with the Fresno Force U18 Gold club team (2007-08) that made back-to-back appearances at Nationals.
The Clovis, Calif., native was a four-year starting catcher at Fresno State (2004-07) where she caught Olympians Jamie Southern and Robin Mackin. A 2007 Easton first team All-American, two-time all-West Region, three-time first team all-Western Athletic Conference, three-time preseason all-WAC, and 2004 WAC Freshman of the Year, Willis helped Fresno State to four straight NCAA Regional appearances and a combined 175-69 overall record and 64-11 conference mark.
A career .299 hitter, she had 39 doubles, 23 home runs and 127 RBIs in 725 at-bats during her four seasons with the Bulldogs. Defensively, she threw out 54.1 percent of would-be base stealers (59-for-109).
Willis graduated from Fresno State with a kinesiology degree in 2008.