Chad Parker, a Bartow County native and former college and minor league baseball coach, has been hired as the school’s new athletic director and has been charged, along with NIckerson, with finding his replacement as boys basketball coach, Excel principal Wesley Roach said.
Also, Excel has hired a new girls basketball coach.
Roach said Nickerson is leaving to get his foot in the door of coaching Division 1 basketball by working with Memphis coach Josh Pastner, adding that has been the coach’s dream.
“I told Mr. Roach back in January that my plans were to stay at Excel to continue to build the men’s basketball program unless an opportunity to join a major Division 1 coaching staff became available,” Nickerson said. “I knew I had to take this opportunity when ... coach Pastner presented [it] over spring break.
He expressed deep gratitude for the opportunity to work at Excel. “These guys that I’ve worked with the last two years at Excel have been like family to me. They have worked very hard and accomplished some great things. I have been very honored to work with these guys and having to leave these kids is the hardest part about accepting this new position at Memphis.”
Coach Nickerson helped lead Excel’s boys’ basketball program to record-setting successes in his tenure.
The past season his team made the school’s first-ever showing in the GHSA state tournament’s Elite Eight. The Eagles earned 26 wins under Nickerson’s leadership, their most ever in a single season. The Eagles enjoyed their first undefeated region schedule in school history this year. Nickerson was voted Coach of the Year and the Eagles were named Team of the Year by the Northwest Georgia Tip-Off Club because of those exploits.
Roach spoke highly of Nickerson’s work. “Coach Nick has done amazing things for the men’s basketball program at Excel. He has brought a tremendous enthusiasm and earned the respect of his players, their parents and his colleagues."
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