After seven years of breaking records with the Olivet College women's basketball team, Nicole Burford has decided to move on.
After accepting an offer from Oakland University, Burford left all of her Olivet and Under Armor gear to the girls of the team, according to junior TKeyia Collins. “We all miss her, and she's come to visit us a few times, but she's really busy settling into her new role at Oakland,” said Collins, when asked about Burford leaving.
Jillian Nickels, senior, said, “Personally being a four-year senior I was upset because my assistant coach left last year and now my head coach left this year, they were a big part in the reason I came here so it's hard to have worked with them in the beginning of my career and not get to end my career with them. However, I support her move and am very happy she found something that she wants to do in order to better her career.”
In Burford's time at Olivet, she managed to break school records, host an MIAA basketball tournament for the first time in program history, and consistently coached the team to a top-tier finish in conference tournaments, according to the Olivet Athletics website. She was here for ten years, and served seven of them as head coach.
As for how the team is feeling during preseason, Nickels said, “The team was also very upset with her leaving however we all equally are happy that she found something she had wanted for a while and is doing what she can to move up in the rankings of a coach and we all wish her nothing but the best in the rest of her life's endeavors. We have been practicing as normal, coaches can't work with us in preseason anyways so we are continuing to put work in, in order to be ready for our season to begin in October.”
The women’s first game is a tournament at Wilmington, Ohio and Nickels is excited for the season to come. “I think the season is going to depend on how all of us girls work, no matter the coach we have it is about the work we put in every single day that will determine where our season is going to go this year,” said Nickels, about the upcoming season in an email interview.