Competition draws head coach to BG


Eric Burgasser

BGSU Soccer Coach

Zane Miller and Zane Miller

Bowling Green mens soccer head coach Eric Nichols is in his seventh consecutive season managing the Falcons. However, he has been involved in the sport for much longer than that.

Before Nichols had begun to get into coaching, he played for the Ohio State Buckeyes during the 1990 season, where he first played against the Falcons and learned what ‘BG brand’ soccer was all about.

“When I played at Ohio State,” Nichols said. “I realized that Bowling Green was a real soccer power.”

After leaving Ohio State, Nichols played in the United States International Soccer League for the Columbus Xoggs from 1995-1996, as well as the Indiana Blast from 1997-1998. He also played briefly for the Columbus Invaders of the National Premier Soccer League in the 1996 season, playing both midfielder and defender throughout his playing career.

“I enjoyed competing the most, no question,” Nichols said of his playing career. “I like soccer, but I loved competing.”

After wrapping up his playing days, Nichols didn’t go directly into coaching but instead worked at a computer consulting firm. He also went back to Ohio State and earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science in 2000.

“After I was done playing, I went and got what I call a real job,” Nichols said.

That didn’t mean Nichols left soccer entirely; in fact, soccer continued to be a primary focus prior to his start in college coaching for the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops mens team in 2000.

“I was coaching on the side and as I was going to work, I would always spend more time thinking about coaching,” Nichols said. “So I was offered a job to work at Ohio Wesleyan as assistant coach.”

Nichols remained at the assistant coaching position until the 2004 season, when he took his first head coaching role for the Ohio Dominican Panthers. He led the Panthers to a 74-14-3 record over his four season tenure with the team. He also lead them to four consecutive titles in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, as well as two NCAA Regional Championships and one Final Four appearance.

After spending the 2008 season with the Davidson Wildcats as an assistant coach, Nichols made the move to become head coach of the Falcons.

“There’s not too many opportunities to coach,” Nichols said. “Once I got the offer to coach a Division I team, I wanted to take it.”

So far throughout Nichols’ time as head coach of the Falcons, he has accumulated a 50-57-20 record. That includes a 14-6-1 record in 2014, which was the team’s first winning record since the 2000 season and the best since the 18-6-0 record the team achieved in the 1997 season. Currently, the Falcons stand on a 6-6-1 record.