The University of Montevallo has hired Jennifer Nichols as the first head coach of the University’s collegiate cycling team.
Nichols previously served as the team director and coach of the Helena High School Mountain Bike Team from September 2019 to July 2022. She is USA Cycling Safe Sport trained, has a coaching certification from the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) and has completed the Bike Instructor Certification Program in Birmingham, Alabama. Nichols is also a Level 3 certified USA Cycling coach.
She was called the ideal candidate for the job by UM administrators.
“I would like to thank Dr. Stewart for this amazing opportunity to be the head coach for the University of Montevallo’s cycling team,” Nichols said. “The University’s passion and energy to develop the first collegiate varsity cycling program in the state of Alabama was evident from the initial interview.”
“I’m overwhelmed with excitement to lead this new cycling program and build a diverse team of hard working, competitive athletes. I look forward to recruiting and retaining talent from our successful Alabama NICA League and local development teams. I’m honored to be a part of the UM family.”
UM’s cycling team was created in fall 2021. It’s the 23rd of Montevallo’s 24 intercollegiate sports.
The team currently has six student cyclists preparing for the upcoming season and by the time the full team starts competing in fall 2023, it’s expected that Nichols will have recruited many more cyclists.
UM is transforming its former Montevallo Golf Club into a premier cycling course which will serve as the home trail for the team. The course will host competitions regularly, bringing hundreds of visitors to Shelby County and the City of Montevallo and strengthening the area’s economy. The course will feature a bike shop, wash station and storage and work areas for each student-athlete on the team.