ASU hires Ball State’s Nicholson as softball coach

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State announced Sunday that Craig Nicholson, formerly the softball coach at Ball State, will take over the program following the departure of longtime coach Clint Myers for the same position at Auburn.

Nicholson’s hire, which is pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents, will make him the fourth coach in program history.

“We launched this search with several priorities, including hiring someone with head coaching experience, an individual who could recruit elite softball student-athletes and a coach with integrity and a proven track record in graduating student-athletes,” athletic director Steve Patterson said in a statement. “We wanted a coach that shared the same vision for ASU softball that our loyal fans and Sun Devil alumni have come to expect at Farrington Stadium.

“As we conducted our search, it became clear that Craig Nicholson was the perfect fit for ASU. His name kept surfacing as a young, up-and-coming coach.  He was a proven winner right here in Arizona and then went on to Ball State to build a consistent championship program.  As we visited about our position, Craig’s passion and enthusiasm for Arizona State was contagious. He is someone who wants to be here long term and become a part of our community. We are thrilled to have him join the Sun Devil Athletics family and lead our national champion softball program.”

Nicholson, the head coach at Ball State for the past seven seasons, amassed a 204-145 record with the Cardinals and holds a 927-235 career record. In addition to coaching at Ball State, Nicholson was the associate head coach for the Chicago Bandits of National Pro Fastpitch in 2008 and helped lead the team to a league title.

Each of ASU’s three previous coaches amassed more than 400 wins with the Sun Devils.