In a decision that will surprise many, Texas has named alum Tommy Nicholson as assistant coach, replacing the void left with Tommy Harmon’s departure after 23 seasons. Nicholson played second base for Texas until his senior season in 2000. As a player for Texas, Nicholson batted .327, scoring 147 runs, with 223 hits, plating 114 RBIs and swiping 20 bases. He batted .500 in the College World Series in 2000 and earned First Team Big XII Honors as a senior. After a few seasons in the minor leagues, he returned to the Disch as a Volunteer Assistant Coach in 2009. During that season, Nicholson helped lead the Longhorns to the College World Series alongside his former coach, Augie Garrido. After two seasons of service, Nicholson was the sole choice of Sacramento State, seeking a hitting instructor and infield coach in 2010. Ryan Kuhn, of The State Hornet (Sacramento State’s student paper), wrote a piece on Nicholson’s coaching techniques just a few months ago.
In the release by TexasSports, Nicholson said, “I’m really excited to be able to put the Longhorn uniform on again. I’m excited to come back to Austin, a city that I loved. I loved my time coaching and playing there and can’t wait to get back.” The echoes of Tommy Harmon’s legacy will continue for a few more years, but this could prove to be a very wise decision by Augie. Replacing Harmon with an outsider would have rubbed many fans the wrong way, and bringing Nicholson back in to the fold at the Disch shows an important loyalty to former players. We at Texas Baseball Blog are eager to see the impact that Tommy Nicholson’s youth and energy will have on the Longhorns. Time (and batting averages) will tell.