JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The North Fulton and Forsyth Touchdown Club has named Johns Creek High School head baseball coach Billy Nicholson its male coach of the year.
Touchdown Club Executive Director Eric Douglas made the announcement at a June 27 meeting of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce at the Metropolitan Club in Alpharetta.
Douglas said the club honors student athletes each month in partnership with the GNFCC. At the end of each school year, they recognize the coaches who play an important role in the lives of student-athletes.
Douglas said Nicholson got the school off to “an incredible start” during his first three years coaching the school’s “upstart” baseball program. He instilled the value of leadership on and off the field. In the 2009-2010 season, Nicholson led the young team to an 18-7 record while playing a non-region schedule and won the Georgia Dugout Club Championship. The 2010-2011 school year was the school’s first season of region play, and the team narrowly missed the playoffs.
“The 2011-2012 season served as a breakout year for the Gladiators,” Douglas said. “They finished with a 27-8 record and a Region 7-AAAA championship and making it to the Final Four in the state AAAA.”
Nicholson earned the honors of Region 7-AAAA Coach of the Year and the Atlanta Braves 400 Club Coach of the Year.
Nicholson does more than coach baseball. He also serves as assistant athletic director and girls’ softball coach. He teaches health education, is the IT liaison for health and physical education and helps travel and field maintenance of athletic fields. Outside of school, he participates in Relay for Life, Community Outreach and the Georgia Dugout Club. During the summer, he works with Atlanta Braves minor league clubs, instructing players in pitching, coaching, manning first base and other skills.
“He is the type of coach every player wants to have,” Douglas said, quoting JCHS ballplayer Steven Siegfried. “He is extremely knowledgeable and able to communicate that knowledge.”
He is fun to be around, but when it’s time to work, it’s time to work. He’s the type of coach one doesn’t want to disappoint.
Douglas then quoted JCHS Athletic Director Mike Cloy, who said Nicholson knows the sport, teaches the sport well and cares about the student athletes.
“He’s a good coach, but he’s a better man,” he said.
Douglas himself served as an umpire and interacted with Nicholson on many occasions, some of them heated. He said Nicholson always respected the integrity of the game.
Roger Wise, a member of the club’s board, gave Nicholson a letter from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp as well.
“This is truly an honor, one of the top of my professional career,” Nicholson said after receiving the award.
He said it was especially great to be honored in front of all the leaders of North Fulton at a GNFCC function. He thanked XL212, the club’s sponsoring partner, and the chamber for the honor.