Nicolais is a YSU Penguin

It’s often been said good things come to those who wait.

At the same time, there’s also the old adage that goes along the lines of one only gets out of something what they put into it.

When it comes to 1995 Wirt County High School graduate John Nicolais, who has paid his dues as an assistant coach at Division II programs Glenville State and Drury University, he finally has knocked on the proverbial Division I door and it’s opened wide.

Although Nicolais hasn’t officially completed all of the proper paperwork, the ex-Tiger and GSC graduate has landed an assistant coaching position for the Youngstown State University women’s basketball team of new head man John Barnes.

“I am sitting in Youngstown right now and I’ve accepted the position,” said Nicolais, who noted he must still fill out and sign all the proper documents next week with the human resource department.

“I packed up everything in my car and got here Monday night. I’m a little frazzled, but it’s all good.”

Nicolais, who married former Glenville State hoopster Carrie Triplett, added that his better half was still back in Missouri and she’s expected to join up with him in July.

“Now we have to sell our house,” he added. “We just bought it in October and now we have to turn around and sell it.”

Indeed, that’s just one of the woes of being a part of the revolving carousel life for a college basketball coach.

“John Barnes, the new coach here, I knew him from when I was at Drury and he was the head coach at Michigan Tech,” Nicolais added. “Our good teams and his good teams duked it out in the sweet 16s and stuff. He got the best of us. He had two Tech teams he took to the Elite 8.”

After getting his physical education degree at Glenville State, Nicolais also added a master’s degree to his resume from Salem International.

Of course, being a Wirt County and town of Elizabeth guy myself I’ve known Nicolais for quite a long time. I didn’t bother asking him how his ping pong game has evolved throughout the years, but he used to serve up some pretty good beat downs at his house back in the day.

Having a passion for something is one thing, but being able to do what one loves and making a living at it is quite another. Luckily for Nicolais, things have worked out extremely well for him as he sets forth on his second decade of being a collegiate assistant coach.

“I’m living the bachelor life in the Comfort Inn and all that good stuff,” Nicolais quipped when I asked him about his current living arrangements.

Coach Barnes offered the assistant coaching job to Nicolais a week ago Monday and it was something he couldn’t pass up.

Sometime in the not too distant future, I’m sure “Nic” will get his first shot of running a program from the top.

“Just have to see when and where. That’s something I’ve been wanting to do,” he added.

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