First published in the June 4 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
After a combined 20 years of coaching during three separate stints for two different sports, Burroughs High School’s varsity softball head coach Doug Nicol is calling it quits for good to spend more time with his family and work on other projects.
“My daughter just got engaged, my son has a job that is outside of the area and I was noticing that there were things I was having to miss because I was so committed to softball,” Nicol said. “I would say about two months ago, I knew. I had told myself, ‘OK, this is it.’”
Nicol, a JBHS class of 1982 graduate, began his journey in 1993 as the varsity girls’ basketball coach for an 11-year period until 2004. He stepped away from the court for six years for family reasons before rejoining the Burroughs staff as the softball head coach in 2010. His second stint and first as softball head coach lasted for six years until 2016, at which point he decided to re-sign in order to watch his son and daughter play Division I collegiate baseball and softball, respectively. He rejoined Burroughs for his third and final stint in 2019 through the 2022 season.
“That’s pretty much what it came down to — me wanting to do a few other things with my family that I had to miss in the last few years; I’m not getting any younger,” Nicol said. “Some traveling, some things with my work at John Muir [Middle School in Burbank] that I want to do before I retire — just some things I want to handle and the commitment of softball, while I love it, it just couldn’t mix with what I want to do.”
Despite 20 years of making lasting memories on the court and on the diamond, Nicol said the 2022 team was one of the best he ever coached. One game, a 3-2 victory at intracity rival Bur-bank this season, stood out from the hundreds of others he has coached.
“Probably my favorite moment was the third Burbank High game at their place when [junior] Stevie Dabbadie hit the home run in the top of the seventh inning to win the game,” Nicol said. “Crosstown rivalry, rubber game between the two teams — it was just great to see.”
Nicol concluded his softball coaching career at JBHS with a terrific 167-64 overall record, including an outstanding 94-20 league record with five Pacific League titles (2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016).