Entering her fourth year with the Charlotte women’s basketball program in 2016-17 is assistant coach Nicole Woods. Woods has helped guide the 49ers to two postseason appearances during her tenure with the program.
Woods has overseen the development of a number of star guards for the program, including two-time All-Conference USA choice Lefty Webster. Webster has earned a reputation around the league for being a threat on both ends of the floor. She became only the 10th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points in three seasons or less, while adding a team-high 62 steals on the defensive end.
Grace Hunter made an immediate impression as a rookie last year, garnering All-Conference USA Freshman Team accolades. The hard-nosed player played an integral role for the Niners during the league campaign, winning a program-record five Conference USA Freshman of the Week honors as she became a factor in the high-octane offense. She played her best games against the best competition, including a career-high 32 in the double-overtime matchup at regular-season league champion UTEP in late February.
Among Woods’ position group in 2014-15 was Hillary Sigmon, who capped her career in the school’s elite 1,000-point club and as the program’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made (203) and attempted (567). Sigmon has gone on to continue her career on the professional level, in Germany.
Current junior Amaya Ransom made an immediate splash in her inaugural collegiate campaign, becoming the first Niner to receive Conference USA Freshman of the Week plaudits when she hit 5-of-5 field goals, including all four of her attempts from behind the 3-point arc, in the season-opening win at Liberty, an eventual NCAA Tournament squad.
In her first season with the 49ers in 2013-14, Woods helped lead the team to a WNIT appearance and a bye in the Conference USA Championships. She had a hand in helping develop the perimeter players, which included three of the team’s top scorers.
Woods also oversees the highly-successful summer camps, held each year on the Charlotte campus. Despite limited playing space in two of the last three years due to on-campus renovations, the camps were a rousing success due to her preparation and attention to detail to ensure the best experience for each camper.
She came to the Niners program in June 2013 after a two-year stint at Stetson, in which she helped lead the Hatters to a 2013 NCAA Tournament berth. Stetson captured the Atlantic Sun Tournament title, knocking off regular-season champion FGCU in the final to secure the league’s automatic bid and advance to the third NCAA Tournament in school history.
The Hatters captured a school-record 24 victories in 2012-13, including a program-best 11 in-a-row. Both topped the previous marks, established the year before when Stetson competed in the WNIT for the first time in school history. Woods oversaw the development of Victoria McGowan, the 2011-12 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year and a two-time All-A-Sun First Team honoree.
As a member of head coach Lynn Bria’s staff, Woods worked with the guards and post players and served as the program’s recruiting coordinator. She was responsible for film breakdown and scouting, community relations, academic counseling of five players and oversight of team managers and interns. She also was the director of the Stetson summer camps.
Woods’ first step into the coaching ranks came in 2009 when she began a two-year career as the graduate assistant at Southern Illinois. With the Salukis, she worked for her former collegiate head coach, Missy Tiber. Woods was responsible for team travel, video exchange, team game day operations and oversight of team managers in addition to also serving as the director of summer camps. She assisted with film breakdown and scouting and community relations.
Woods was a four-year member of the Belmont Abbey women’s basketball program, earning NCAA Division II Bulletin All-American Second Team accolades as a senior. She finished her final campaign .01 ppg behind the national leader, averaging 24.1 for the Crusaders and collecting the Carolina-Virginia Athletic Conference Player of the Year plaudit. She was named to the league’s first team as a junior and senior. As a junior, Woods placed third nationally with 8.1 assists per game.
She finished her career with 1641 points, ranking fourth in school history, while her 676 points in 2005-06 still stand as a program high for a single season. She tallied a career-best 37 points in two games, at Wingate (Jan. 3, 2005) and at Queens (Feb. 19, 2005). She also owns the only triple-double in Crusaders’ history, with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Erskine (Jan. 6, 2005).
In December 2013, Woods was recognized by her alma mater as the first women’s player to have her jersey honored. She joined six former Belmont Abbey men’s players during the historical ceremony.
After her stellar collegiate career, the Gastonia, North Carolina, native, who attended Hunter Huss HS, played professionally for one season for the Nottingham Wildcats in England. She paced the squad in assists and was second in scoring.
Woods was a double major during her undergrad career, earning degrees in accounting and business management from Belmont Abbey in 2006. She then completed her master’s degree in public administration from Southern Illinois in 2011.