Assistant coach Nikki Shade begins her third season with the University of Houston volleyball staff in 2002. She joined the program in August 2000 after completing two years of graduate school.
Shade assists with all areas of the UH volleyball program under head coach Bill Walton. Her primary coaching focus is with the Cougar setters, and she has the critical role of assisting with the team's offensive and defensive schemes. Shade also serves as one of the the program's primary recruiter for student-athletes.
She also assists with recruiting at the high school level and serves as the team travel coordinator. Shade also works as a staff liason for the team's home event management.
In the 2000 season Shade's influence was easy to see. With Shade working with the setters Houston ran one of the top offenses in Conference USA. The team compiled 21 wins and went on to earn a bid to national postseason play at the NCAA Tournament.
Shade draws on a wealth of playing experience she garnered as an All-America setter for the standout teams at the University of Florida. She "quarterbacked" the Gators to two NCAA Final Four appearances while winning AVCA All-Region accolades.
After leading the SEC in assists for two seasons, Shade was a two-time consensus First Team all-conference selection in 1996 and 1997. She completed her collegiate career ranked fourth in assists with 3,429 and averaged over 12.9 assists her last two years with the team. She once passed out 73 assists in leading UF to a 3-0 sweep of nationally-ranked UCLA. A versatile athlete, Shade also set the school record for block assists in a single match with 11.
Shade was every bit as strong in the classroom as she was on the court. She was an Engineering major who was a three-time selection to the SEC Academic Honor Roll. She was also won GTE District III Academic All-America recognition.
Prior to attending college, the native of New Orleans, La., was an All-State selection for Duncanville High School by the Texas Coaches Association. She led Duncanville to a 41-1 district record during her varsity career as well as four-straight district championships.
As a club player Shade was invited to the U.S. Junior Elite Camp and she was chosen to serve as a team captain of the Junior National Team. She played in the 1991, '92 and '93 Junior Olympics and was named a World Scholar-Athlete in 1993.
Shade is active with club coaching in the Houston area and serves as a coach and administrator for the popular Cougar Volleyball camps and clinics. In her spare time, she enjoys relaxing.