Soccer

Grain Valley soccer’s Tyler Nichol says it’s ‘right time’ to step down from coaching

Grain Valley soccer's Tyler Nichol says it's 'right time' to step down from coaching

When Tyler Nichol was playing for Mike Palermo’s Blue Springs High School soccer team 15 years ago, Grain Valley was merely a blip on the radar screen.

“I lived in Blue Springs, went to Blue Springs High School, played for Coach Palermo and knew that one day I was going to come back to my alma mater and coach,” Nichol said.

Well, that plan never materialized as Nichol interviewed for a job at Grain Valley High School, who had become a force in Eastern Jackson County soccer, and found a new home.

Nichol’s legacy at Grain Valley High School will far outlive the past seven years as he coached the Eagles boys and girls soccer teams, turning them into state powers.

Nichol, who announced his resignation following a 22-3-1 girls season that ended with a 5-2 loss to Fort Zumwalt South in the Class 3 state championship game, leaves Grain Valley with a combined record of 202-77-6 with the boys and girls teams.

Nichol led this year’s girls team to their greatest season ever, including the first state final four appearance, and he led the boys team to a pair of final four berths, with a third-place state finish in 2015 and a fourth-place finish in 2016.

He is leaving Grain Valley to pursue a career in the private sector, but said, “Who knows, one day I might find my way back to coaching.”

And that path might lead to Grain Valley, where he and his wife Amanda, a librarian at Stoney Point Elementary School, and his two children, 4-year-old Jackson and 2-year-old Eleanor, live in the family’s new home.

I’m not going to say I’ll never coach again, but right now I am excited about this new opportunity in the private sector, which really came out of nowhere,” said Nichol, who turned the boys program over to assistant coach Brett Lewis last season.

Lewis will now replace his longtime friend as the girls head coach.

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