McDonogh boys soccer coach Steve Nichols will return to his alma mater, Loyola Maryland, as its new men's soccer coach, the school announced Thursday.
It marks the end of a highly successful 17-year tenure at McDonogh for Nichols, who guided the No. 1 Eagles (20-0-1) to their seventh Maryland Interscolastic Athletic Association championship and first unbeaten season in the fall. He leaves McDonogh with a 290-62-31 career mark.
“I’ve told a lot of people that this was the only job I would ever leave McDonogh for, that’s how happy I was at McDonogh, how content I was there and what a great place it was," Nichols said Thursday. "But it just shows you how much I feel about Loyola, and the potential there ... to not only win and also be a part of a community that’s very special to me."
Following the season, he was selected the 2013 Boys Private/Parochial School National Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
A graduate of Boys’ Latin, Nichols enjoyed a fine four-year playing career at Loyola and helped the Greyhounds win four straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) regular season and tournament championships from 1989-92. He earned a bachelor's degree in communications and public relations in 1992.
Nichols becomes the program's ninth coach and replaces former coach Mark Mettrick, whose contract wasn't renewed after completing his 14th season last fall.
The coach said he planned to use the relationships forged during his 20 years as a high school coach to encourage student-athletes to "look to Loyola as their first option."
“When I was growing up in Baltimore in the '80s, Loyola was kind of your first choice before anybody else and I want to try to get that back instead of a Maryland or a North Carolina or a Virginia," Nichols said. "I want Loyola to be your first choice growing up from this area and then the others the second choice."