Phil Nickel enters his sixth season as assistant coach for the Houston volleyball program in 2006. His other NCAA Division I volleyball experiences include two assistant coaching positions at Illinois State and Wright State, as well as a head coaching position at Thomas More College.
Nickel's responsibilties at Houston include recruiting, personnel development and assisting with on-court coaching. During his five seasons with the Cougars, Nickel has helped coach eight athletes to 12 All-Conference honors, including the 2004 and 2005 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year Jaci Gonzalez.
As an assistant at Illinois State from 2000-01, Nickel was responsible for all aspects of recruiting, team travel, scheduling and staff management, as well as player instruction and development. He also was involved in assisting with practice organization, scouting and game plan-development.
At Wright State from 1998-99, Nickel was responsible for recruiting, travel, scheduling and on-court coaching, as well as consulting strength and conditioning programs, incentives awards programs and educational support of the athletes. He also published a quarterly newsletter for the team and organized charitable events in addition to fundraising.
As a head coach at Thomas More College from 1996-97, Nickel led the Saints to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and a #4 ranking in the Souh Region in 1997. He coached senior Mary Schateman, who ranked among the top 20 setters that year. He also served as athletic facilities manager, supervising all functions and work-study staff at the Convocation Center.
Nickel has served as a committee member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, which represents the interests of collegiate assistant volleyball coaches, and was also the Chair of the Professional Development Sub-Committee.
NIckel led the Houston Juniors 17 national team to the Silver Championship at the 2006 USA Volleyball Junior olympic Championships as well as coaching the 17 Black Team for Illinois Juniors Volleyball Club to fifth place finishes in 2001 and 2002 and had four players named to the All-Tournament Team at USA Nationals. He coached the Dayton Juniors and Western Buckeye Volleyball Club.
Nickel attended Ohio Northern for two years, where he played football and baseball. He then transferred to the University of Cincinnati where he played volleyball on the men's club team from 1992-95. He served as a captain and president from 1994-95 and earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1995. Nickel furthered his education at Wright State University, where he was involved in the Athletics Administration Masters Program.
Nickel, a native of Richwood, Ohio, currently lives with his family in League City. He and his wife, Michelle, have two sons, Trey and Zackery, as well as a daughter Kaia.