Nan P. Nichols

Nan P. Nichols, 72, of  Wooster, Ohio and formerly of Tipton, died at 10:15 p.m. Sunday, June 17, 2012 at Westview Manor in Wooster.  She was born July 31, 1939 in Elwood to Robert F. & Evelyn (Vance) Nichols.

Nan was a teacher, coach, athletic director, and a life-long promoter of women's collegiate athletics.  She was a 1957 graduate of Tipton High School and Butler University graduate.  She started teaching at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio in 1962 but left after one year to pursue her master's degree at Bowling Green State University.

Returning to The College of Wooster in 1965, she would spend the next 30 years helping to build a broad-based varsity athletic program, helping to develop six women's teams at the college in less than a decade that would become a model for other colleges and universities throughout the United States.

As head women's basketball coach, she guided Wooster to three national tournament appearances, one conference championship and an overall record of 186-131.  As head women's swimming and diving coach, she led the Scots to a remarkable 70-8 dual-meet record, even though she had never been a competitive swimmer.

As an administrator, Nan served as Wooster's Director of Women's Athletics for 21 years between 1974 and 1995.  She also served as the chairperson for the Midwest Association for Intercollegiate Sports for Women and the Ohio Athletic Conference Committee on Women's Sports.  She also played a major role in the establishment of the Centennial Conference for women in 1983 as well as the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) in 1984.  The NCAC recognized Nan's achievements by naming its women's basketball most valuable performer trophy after her, beginning with the 2009-10 season.

As a way of honoring Nan, The College of Wooster created the Nan Nichols Classic basketball tournament in 1996.  In 2010 she was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame and in 2011 the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators honored her with its Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Nan is survived by one niece and three nephews, Lynn N. Hall and husband Chris, Madison, Indiana, Bob Nichols and wife Teri, Tipton, Brad Nichols and wife Christine, Tipton, and Mike Nichols and wife Diann, Hartford City, Indiana; fourteen great-nieces and nephews, Nathan, Nicholas, and Noah Hall, Aaron, Thomas, and David Nichols, Emily, Lindsay, and Philip Nichols, Khaila Lay, Kinsey Nichols, Emily, Cameron, and Kyle Orr; a special friend and caregiver, Kathy Maksymicz, Wooster.

She is also survived by one aunt, Phyllis Vance Ling, Sarasota, Florida, and three cousins, Carol Holmes and husband RB, Sarasota, Florida, Dr. Jill Buroker, Redlands, California and Pam Ely and husband Tom, Bridgewater, New Jersey.  She was preceded in death by one brother, Philip V. Nichols.

Nan's funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 23 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 340 Mill Street, Tipton, with Rev. Leroy Kinnaman presiding.  Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery, Tipton.  A luncheon will be served at St. John's School following the interment where friends are invited to join the family for a time of food and fellowship.

Memorial contributions may be made for a scholarship at the College of Wooster in Nan's memory through the arranging funeral home, Young-Nichols Funeral Home, 216 W. Jefferson Street, Tipton, Indiana, 46072.