One of the most prolific pitchers to ever emerge from the Illinois State softball program, former Redbird Shannon Nichsolson joins the coaching staff in 2008 as a student assistant coach. Nicholson, who completed her illustrious four-year ISU career with 62 wins, the fourth-most all-time in school history, graduated in December 2007 and is currently pursuing her master's degree in kinesiology and recreation with a concentration in sport management.
Nicholson will assist pitching coach Bill Kennedy with the Illinois State pitchers this season and will work with both the Redbird starting and relief pitchers.
The year 2007 was a banner year for Nicholson, as she was named the Illinois State Female Student-Athlete and Female Athlete of the Year, and was also selected as a 2007 Easton Second-Team All-American - just the second Redbird pitcher all-time to earn Easton Second-Team All-America status. She led the team in earned-run average (1.53) and wins (21), and was picked to the All-MVC First Team for the first time in her career.
A consistent performer throughout her Redbird pitching career, Nicholson recorded at least 15 wins in the circle for ISU in each of her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. She ranks fourth all-time for career wins (62), third in opponent batting average (.244), third in career appearances (135) and is tied for fifth in career strikeouts with 362.
Nicholson signed a professional contract Jan. 21, 2008, to pitch for the Akron Racers of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league in 2008.