Jun. 23—Decorated, family-oriented and patient are just a few words to describe first-year Palestine girls basketball coach Daniel Nichols.
Former McKinney Boyd girls' varsity assistant Daniel Nichols has returned to the head coaching ranks as Palestine's new head girls' basketball coach. He steps into his 12th year of coaching and, thus far, has an impressive resume to follow suit.
He was named McKinney ISD Assistant Coach of the Year in 2020. He was awarded the Sportsmanship Award from the Paris Chapter of Basketball Officials in 2016, was an All-State wide receiver at Cooper High School and District MVP in basketball.
After high school, Nichols went on to Southeastern Oklahoma State University to play football. He finished second in program history for receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns.
He graduated with a degree in Social Studies Education before earning his Masters Degree at John Brown University and the Kanakuk Institute.
Simply put, Nichols knows a little about building a successful foundation.
"I want to be able to get the most out of the players and that starts with building relationship." Nichols said. "See your potential and set goals with you. Set goals in life after high school. It'll allow us to get the best out of them."
What his athletes do after high school is just impactful, for him, as the product they're able to put on the floor. Some coaches can be "transactional," — only helping players that can help you win. For Nichols, he likes to implement transformational coaching — a style that builds on a goals and long-term development regardless of your ranking on the team. It builds on inclusion and participation for all players.
"These relationships are primary with your players," Nichols said. "It's not about me. What they take from this game into life is what I want to help teach. Building those life skills are just as important."
However, Nichols understands the situation he has stepped into it. Taking over a team who reached the Regional Quarterfinals for the first time since 2001 and are fresh off an undefeated district championship run.
"It's a little pressure to replicate last season," Nichols said with a laugh. "I've talked to some of the players here and they want to go further than the third round of the playoffs. We have the experience and the players to repeat as district champs."
Nichols has been married since 2015 to his wife Steph. They have two daughters — Anaiah and Brayla — along with one son — Micah.