Travis Nichols is going into his fourth season as head coach at San Diego Mesa College. The San Diego native and former player Mesa star was hired as the schools first African American head coach. Nichols is the face of the program and it goes deeper than basketball. “It is more than basketball as I represent education,” said Nichols. The Olympians head coach is a professor on campus and it is in the spotlight in more than one way. The head man of the Olympians program represents the program off the floor as well. Nichols is part of a coaches group called “Coaches For Racial Equality” in the city of San Diego. The group is organized by Lincoln High Head Coach Jeff Harper-Harris and it engages with parents, coaches, and athletes to discuss racism and social justice around the country through zoom calls bi weekly.
As far as the basketball on the floor aspect, Nichols and the Olympians believe in having high character players to represent the program. “Character is huge for us,” said the fourth year head coach. Loyalty is another huge thing for the program and it is one of the key staples for their culture. Respect was another thing mentioned when it comes to to the culture. The three things mentioned by Nichols defines the culture and what represents the program at San Diego Mesa College.
Coaching at the junior college level is not always easy as last season covid 19 took away a full season from players around the country. The challenges faced last season were not on the court for a lot of programs. “It is about keeping guys on track with their mental health,” said Nichols when asked about the challenges from last season. It will still be a challenge for the upcoming season but it helps that many players have a chance to get back into the gym. With the season right around the corner, the Olympian program will look to be competitive this upcoming season. “Our goal is to fight for a conference championship and make the post season,” added Nichols.