Nichols Named Loyola Men’s Soccer Head Coach
BALTIMORE - Steve Nichols has been named the head men’s soccer coach at Loyola University Maryland, Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics Jim Paquette announced Thursday.
Nichols, an all-region performer and two-time team most valuable player as a student-athlete for the Greyhounds’ men’s soccer team has coached Baltimore’s top talent for over 22 years. In addition to currently serving as head coach of the Baltimore Bohemians professional team and director of coaching for the Baltimore Celtic Soccer Club youth organization, Nichols has spent the last 17 years building McDonough School into a perennial national prep power.
“We are thrilled that Steve Nichols is returning to his alma mater to serve as our head men’s soccer coach,” Paquette said. “Steve has had a strong presence in the Baltimore soccer community for more than 20 years, and he has helped developed some of the best talent in the state of Maryland. In addition, he has been recognized nationally for his accomplishments as a professional, high school and club coach. I firmly believe he is the right person at the right time to lead our men’s soccer program”
Nichols becomes the ninth head coach in Loyola men’s soccer history and just the third in the program’s NCAA Division I history since 1982. He takes the reins of a program that advanced to the MAAC Tournaments each year it was a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, winning a league-best 12 titles before joining the Patriot League in 2014.
“This opportunity is a lifetime dream for me,” Nichols said. “I grew up in the area and, at the time, while I was playing high school and club soccer, Loyola was the top choice for kids in the area; that’s why I went there. This is a life-changing opportunity and my dream is to come back and make that happen again.”
A graduate of Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, Nichols began his career at James Madison before coming to Loyola to help the men’s soccer program to a 28-7-8 record, including an unblemished 13-0-0 mark in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play, through the 1989 and 1990 seasons. Nichols remained with the program for the 1991 season while finishing his coursework, helping the squad to a third-straight MAAC regular season and tournament title.
“From watching Steve grow as a coach, he is someone who obviously developed a mystique around him because he gets unbelievable results. There is a lot to be said for the accomplishments that he has put together,” said John Ellinger, the former head coach of the United States Under-17 National Team and Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake. “His teams, year-in, year-out are always extremely competitive, and I think Baltimore should be very happy to see one of its own in this position. I think Steve will do great things as Loyola’s coach.”
Following his time in the Green and Grey, Nichols went on to play professionally for the Baltimore Spirit of the NPSL and the Baltimore Bays of the USISL, before taking over at McDonogh School.
Since then, Nichols has led McDonogh to a No. 1 national high school ranking on two occasions, including 2013, when the Eagles posted an unprecedented unbeaten record of 21-0-1, en route to winning the national championship. McDonogh has won eight MIAA Championships under Nichols and have been MIAA runners-up on six occasions. Only three times throughout Nichols’ 17 years of guidance have the Eagles not played for the MIAA title.
Nichols was named the 2013 NSCAA Boys Private/Parochial School National Coach of the Year and has garnered honors such as NSCAA/MACS Coach of the Year, NSCAA/Adidas Regional and State Coach of the Year and Baltimore Sun Metro Coach of the Year. He was also named the Maryland State High School Terry Colaw Service Award winner in 2007 and the Richard Bartos Memorial Coach of the Year in 2000.
Outside of McDonogh, Nichols is the only coach in the nation to win nine National Youth Soccer Championships and was appointed the national coach for the U-17 Chelsea Tour in England in both 2009 and 2011. He served as the head coach for the Maryland Olympic Development Program from 1995-99, being awarded as the Maryland Olympic Development Coach of the Year in 1996, and was an MLS player combine coach in 2007.
“Steve is a proven winner at every level he’s coached,” said Bill Wnek, Loyola’s associate athletic director who chaired the search. “He’s won numerous coaching awards and has developed countless players who have gone on to play college soccer at some of the top schools nationally.”
Nichols earned his bachelor of arts in communications and public relations from Loyola in 1992.