The Texas baseball program is defined by success, pride and tradition, and very few know of or exemplify those points better than Tommy Nicholson.
At the end of June, Nicholson was named the new Texas assistant baseball coach to replace Tommy Harmon after Harmon’s 23-year tenure came to end after being fired.
“Right now, I can’t wait to get started,” Nicholson said. “I’m really excited to start coaching and get my feet on the ground. Austin and the baseball program here feel like home.”
Nicohlson, 32, is 31 years younger than Harmon, but has been around the game a long time.
Nicholson played at the 40 Acres for three years under current head coach Augie Garrido from 1998 to 2000. He was a three-year letterwinner that played second base, and was part of the program’s 27th appearance in the College World Series in Omaha in 2000.
After a brief period of playing professional baseball, Nicholson came back to Disch-Falk Field and spent two years as a volunteer assistant coach during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
He then spent the two most recent college baseball seasons (2011-2012) at Sacramento State, where he served as the team’s infield and hitting coach. Under Nicholson’s guidance, the Hornets finished the 2012 season with a single-season record .979 fielding percentage, and committed only 47 errors in 59 games.
Though he has had much success over the past two seasons, Nicholson still has much to build on in Harmon’s offense at Texas. The Longhorns have finished no better than seventh in batting in the Big 12 over the past four years, including finishing last in 2010.
“I can be tough when I need to be, and I can also be fun and energetic when I need to be, but I think every player is a little different, and so I hope to teach each of them differently to get the best out of them,” Nicholson said. “I hope each player can get better and reach their full potential at the plate.”
While Nicholson has made coaching leaps of his own, he also stated that he looks forward to working with Garrido again.
“I honestly can’t wait to be under his guidance again. He truly is the best in the game,” Nicholson said. “I learned a lot from him while I was under him as a player, and again as a volunteer assistant, and now I’m looking forward to learning more.”
Garrido welcomes back his former student, and believes he will bring much to the table, especially in the recruiting field.
“Tommy will be our recruiting coordinator and he is a very bright guy,” Garrido said. “He has a magical touch everywhere he goes, and that’s been the case since his days in high school. He is a very unique person and one of the young coaching geniuses in this country.”