Jeff Goodman of Stadium Network released the OVC edition of the Top Collegiate Basketball Assistants series, featuring third-year assistant coach Jerry Nichols.
Voted on by coaches throughout the conference, Stadium ranked the top five elite assistants in the Ohio Valley Conference. Fifth place resulted in a three-way tie between TSU's own, Nichols, Morehead State's Jonathan Mattox and Jacksonville State's Chase Richardson.
Memphis-native Nichols came to Tennessee State after compiling a 200-59 (.772) overall record in nine seasons as a junior college head coach at Motlow State from 2009-13 and at Southwest Tennessee from 2013-18. He won five Tennessee Community College Athletic Association Coach of the Year awards during that nine-year span. He helped guide the Motlow State program to a NJCAA Tournament berth in his final season with the program and did it again at Southwest Tennessee advancing to the NJCAA Elite Eight. His teams picked up multiple national rankings during this time. Nichols began his coaching career at Walters State CC as an assistant coach for one season before heading to Union College in Kentucky for two seasons. He also has experience coaching USA Basketball's U18 Junior National Team having coached them in the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championships in Chile.
“Former Juco head coach, relentless worker, great basketball mind, top-notch recruiter. Will not be with me long.” – Tennessee State coach Penny Collins
“His impact was seen on that Tennessee State team this year. He is a guy who can both coach and also recruit.” – OVC assistant
Brian Ayers - Belmont
Shane Nichols - Murray State
Tim Kaine, Murray State
Chase Richardson, Jacksonville State
Jonathan Mattox, Morehead State
Tommy Wade, Jacksonville State