By Rick Assad
Maybe some things are just meant to be and that includes Doug Nicol being named the Burroughs High softball coach after Wes Tanigawa resigned the position.
This will be Nicol’s second stint as the Indians’ softball coach after serving seven successful seasons in the same capacity.
“I got a few phone calls to see if I was interested in coming back,” said Nicol, who graduated from Burroughs in 1982. “I told them to give me a few days so that I can think about it for a day or two.”
Nicol went on: “I spoke to my wife and my son and daughter and they both said that I should take it.”
Nicol said he was fully convinced when he went to a recent scrimmage and liked what he saw.
“This is a really good group of kids,” he said. “It sparked my interest.”
After coaching the Indians from 2010 until 2016, Nicol said he wanted to be there and support his children in their sporting and collegiate educational endeavors.
Nicol, who guided the Indians to four Pacific League titles that included a CIF Southern Section semifinal appearance in 2016 and a quarterfinal showing in 2015, stepped down in order to spend more time with his family.
But now that his daughter and son are older, he believed, with their encouragement along with his wife, the time was right to return.
“Three weeks ago I wasn’t looking to coach,” he said. “There was no clue that I would, so this is a total shock. But I’m glad. I love Burroughs.”
Nicol, who teaches at Muir Middle School in Burbank and has been a longtime travel ball coach, added: “I’ve been around them [the team] about a week and a half and they’re incredible,” he said.
Nicol’s immediate goal is to instill self-esteem and worth in being on the softball team. “I want to build a culture and have pride,” he said. “It takes time and it doesn’t happen overnight.”
The overwhelming favorite to capture the league banner is perennial power Crescenta Valley, which is led by All-CIF Southern Section pitcher Dee Dee Hernandez.
“There’s no doubt that CV is the team to beat,” Nicol said. “They won the CIF title last year and they’re going to be good this year. I think Arcadia, Burroughs and Burbank will be right there.”
Burroughs has played four nonleague games this season, losing to Camarillo 7-0, defeating host Golden Valley 13-0, falling to Notre Dame 4-0 and beating West Ranch 10-2.
The Indians commence league action on March 3 versus Glendale and will travel to Burbank on March 19 and then host the Bulldogs on April 30.