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July 14, 1997

Texas Tech Head Soccer Coach Resigns

Nichols returns to Lubbock High

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech head soccer coach Diane Nichols has resigned her position with the University to return to Lubbock High as the girls head soccer coach, Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers announced today.

Myers also announced that Felix Oskam, who has served as an assistant coach for two years, has been named interim head coach.

"Diane has done a tremendous job of laying a strong foundation for our women's soccer program. She established a winning tradition that will be carried on after she is gone. We will miss her, but we wish her the best of luck," Myers said.

Nichols, who came to Tech in 1994 to begin the Red Raider Soccer program, saw it flourish under her command. For the past three years, Nichols guided her teams to consecutive winning seasons. In her first season, Nichols led Tech to a 9-5-1 mark. The Red Raiders finished third in the Southwest Conference in 1995 and ended the season with a ninth place ranking in the Central Region.

During their first season in the soccer rich Big 12 Conference, Tech finished fourth and advanced to the inaugural Big 12 Tournament. Tech ended the season with a number seven ranking in the Central Region. Nichols leaves Texas Tech with an overall record of 34-20-3.

"The challenges and opportunities of establishing and developing a women's soccer program at Texas Tech have meant a great deal to me, both personally and professionally. Starting the program has been a very rewarding experience and I will always be grateful that I was given the opportunity. This program is well on it's way. I have worked with some great people at Texas Tech and I will miss them all very much. However, I have decided to return to public school teaching and coaching. I discovered that I missed the chance to influence high school age students," Nichols said.

A graduate of Texas Tech, Nichols received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education with minors in history and sociology in 1974. She received her Master's degree in Sports Administration in 1986. She began her teaching career by working with the deaf at Lubbock High School.

As a high school coach, Nichols compiled a 130-46-18 combined record. She guided Lubbock High to 13 winning seasons, including five unbeaten campaigns. The Westerners captured district, sectional, regional and semi-final championships under Nichols' direction.

Oskam played 12 years of club soccer in the Netherlands before attending the University of North Texas. While at North Texas, he helped guide the team to their first national ranking and was twice chosen as a Texas Collegiate Soccer League All-Star. Oskam holds a United States Soccer Federation National "A" license and is a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. A 1981 graduate of North Texas, Oskam earned a Master of Science degree in Sports Management from the University of Tulsa in 1993.

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