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Women's Basketball Coach Returning to Alma Mater
August 23, 2006

Steven Ericson

MACON, Ga. - Mercer head women's basketball coach Brenda Welch-Nichols will be returning to her alma mater, Sam Houston State University, as the program's head coach as announced by Mercer athletics director Bobby Pope late Tuesday.
Nichols played two seasons at Sam Houston in Huntsville, Texas, and graduated with her bachelor's degree from the university in 1989.  She averaged 19.2 points per game and earned twice earned Second-Team All-Southland Conference honors during her two-year stint as a Bearkat.
"Brenda's done a good job for us, and we appreciate her hard work," said Pope.  "Unfortunately, the timing is not the best.  We will take our time to complete a thorough search so we can to find the right fit for the position."
Last season, the Bears finished 14-15 overall and 10-10 in the A-Sun.  With a stunning upset of third-seeded ETSU, Mercer advanced to the A-Sun Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2002.  Additionally, the Bears reached the Atlantic Sun in each of Nichols' four seasons at Mercer.
In her four seasons at Mercer, Nichols compiled a 51-62 overall record and a 41-35 mark in the Atlantic Sun Conference.  She accumulated a 33-13 (.717) mark at home, including a 20-8 (.714) record at the University Center.
"I appreciate the opportunity that Bobby Pope gave me to be a head coach at the Division I level," said Nichols.  "The toughest part of this process was telling my players here, but they are the ones who have made this program and they will do great things this season."