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U.S. National Team member and two-time Olympian Caroline Nichols returns for her third season as assistant field hockey coach at Columbia. Nichols is responsibilities including working with the Lions’ backfield, recruiting and organization of practice.

"Caroline brings a tremendous amount of hockey experience and tactical knowledge to Columbia from her time at Old Dominion and with the U.S. National Team,” head coach Marybeth Freeman said. “During her time at Old Dominion, she placed a strong focus on learning fundamental skills which will provide a fantastic visual aid for our student-athletes. As a two-time Olympian, Caroline will share what she has learned as a student of the game through her successes on the international stage. As predominantly a backfield player, Caroline has played with and against the top forwards in the world. Those experiences will prove beneficial for our overall team attack.

Under her direction, the Columbia defense has seen players such as Bridget DeSandis, Katie DeSandis and Lauren Skudalski earn All-Ivy League and All-Region honors. As a team, the Lions have ranked in the top-15 of defensive saves in each of Nichols’ two seasons with the program.

Nichols has been playing field hockey at the international level for the past six years. As a defender on the U.S. National Team, Nichols was a member of the 2008 Beijing Olympics team, the 2008 Olympic Qualifier team and the 2010 World Cup Qualifier Team. She earned a gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games when the U.S. defeated top-ranked Argentina in the Championship game. In 2006, she was named to the USA World Cup Training Squad and was a member of the Netherlands Tour team in 2007.

She competed with the 2012 London Olympics team in June 2012 and was re-selected for the National Squad in June of 2013.

"I am very honored to be joining the Columbia University Field Hockey program,” Nichols said. “The team is made up of so many talented and committed women that are led by a knowledgeable and driven head coach. I am thrilled to be a part of this program backed by a dedicated administration and I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience. I am committed to helping these Columbia student-athletes grow in the sport.”

Nichols, who an assistant coach at Iowa in 2010, has worked with the USA Field Hockey Futures program since 2008. She has been a certified site director and head coach since 2008 and the Regional Coaching Director for San Diego, Calif., since 2009.

Nichols had an outstanding collegiate playing career at Old Dominion as a four-year letterwinner from 2003-06. She was a national all-academic team selection and an all-conference honoree from 2004-06. As a junior, she was named a NFHCA second team All-South Region selection and was named to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) all-tournament team. In 2006, Nichols was recognized as a NFHCA first team All-American and an NFHCA first team All-South Region honoree. Additionally, she was named the 2006 CAA Player of the Year and CAA Defender of the Year, marking the first time in CAA history someone swept both honors in the same season.

Nichols earned her bachelor of science in biology with honors from Old Dominion University.


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