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Nicholson returns as Raider baseball coach

Mike Nicholson

Mike Nicholson is returning to his coaching roots.

Nicholson, who led Seminole State College of Florida’s baseball team for eight seasons (2001-08), will return as coach of the Raider baseball team for the 2014 season.

“We are very excited to welcome Coach Nicholson back as head baseball coach,” says Athletic Director John Scarpino. “Mike has been very successful throughout his career, and especially at Seminole State. His accomplishments in the Mid-Florida Conference and within the state of Florida speak for themselves.”

Nicholson, who moved to the position of assistant athletic director in 2008, led the Raiders in several of their most successful campaigns, including a 2003 season that ended with a berth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series. That year also saw the Raiders earn their first and only state/regional championship.

Over the span of eight seasons as head coach, Nicholson coached the Raiders to two Mid-Florida Conference (MFC) championships and five postseason berths. Nicholson was selected as MFC Coach of the Year twice and was a one-time state coach of the year recipient. In eight seasons, 34 Seminole State players either were drafted in the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft or signed pro contracts (with three currently serving in the MLB), and 90 percent of Nicholson’s players signed athletic scholarships to four-year universities.

“I would like to thank President Dr. E. Ann McGee, Executive Vice President Dr. Joe Sarnovsky, Mr. Scarpino and the search committee for the opportunity to be the head coach at Seminole State,” Nicholson says. “I am honored and excited to lead the Raiders again. I love challenges, and playing in the most competitive and demanding JUCO conference and region in the country is definitely a test that I look forward to.”

Prior to his tenure as Raider head coach, Nicholson coached Clarkson University for three seasons, leading the Golden Knights to their first postseason appearance. Clarkson won the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) regional tournament in 2000, and Nicholson was named Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association (UCAA) Conference Coach of the Year. For two seasons, Nicholson was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Wingate University, and he spent seven years as an assistant for Virginia Tech. He also served as a scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees, with coverage ranging from North Carolina to Eastern Canada.

Nicholson replaces Chris Hayes, who resigned at the end of the 2013 season to accept an assistant head coach position at his alma mater, Jacksonville University. The Raiders were tied for first place in the MFC last season and finished No. 33 in the nation, according to Perfect Game’s rankings.

For more information about the Raiders baseball, please visit the Seminole State baseball home page.

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