Mike Nickeas was promoted to assistant coach in July 2017 after serving two years as the volunteer coach. Nickeas returned to the Georgia Tech baseball program in 2015 after playing three years under Danny Hall in the early 2000’s. He played 11 years of professional baseball, including four years in Major League Baseball (MLB).
Nickeas, who served as the volunteer coach in 2016 and 2017, was promoted to the volunteer assistant coach prior to the start of the 2016 season after spending the 2015 year as a manager while he completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration.
The Jackets were hindered by injuries all season long in 2017, as Tech had a total of 11 student-athletes miss significant time (six games or more) due to an injury throughout the year. In what proved to be a grueling schedule, the Yellow Jackets played a total of 16 games (30 percent) of its schedule against top-20 teams in No. 12 Oklahoma, No. 9 North Carolina, No. 7/16 Auburn, No. 5 Clemson, No. 2 Louisville, No. 8 Virginia and No. 12 Wake Forest (rankings at time of competition), scoring one win apiece versus Oklahoma, North Carolina, Auburn, Clemson and Virginia.
Despite the uncharacteristic Georgia Tech baseball season, the Yellow Jackets had one player named to all four all-ACC teams in 2017. Junior second baseman Wade Bailey was named to the all-ACC first team, while sophomore catcher Joey Bart earned a spot on the second team. Junior third baseman Trevor Craport was named to the third team, while freshman shortstop Austin Wilhite was named to the all-ACC freshman team. Both Bailey and Bart earned ABCA/Rawlings all-region accolades, while Bailey was also named to the all-America second team by Collegiate Baseball. Wilhite was named to both the Collegiate Baseball freshmen all-America first team and an NCBWA freshman all-American.
In his first year as a volunteer assistant coach in 2016, the Yellow Jackets finished the injury plagued season at 38-25 overall and made their 31st overall NCAA Regional appearance. The only school from the state of Georgia to advance to the NCAA postseason in 2016, Tech went 2-2 in the regional to finish as the runner-up. Tech registered a non-conference midseason sweep of the eventual 2016 NCAA National Champions in Coastal Carolina from April 29 thru May 1, taking three-straight from the Chanticleers by scores of 9-1, 9-8 and 4-2 in a shortened-contest. On top of the sweep over the eventual national champions, Tech also took two-of-three games on the road at both North Carolina and Clemson in ACC play and used a three-run 10th inning to upend Georgia 6-3 in the Yellow Jackets’ final game at Turner Field.
In the fall of 2016, Nickeas served as a bench coach for the Great Britain National Team that competed in the qualifying round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic held at MCU Park in Brooklyn, N.Y. from Sept. 22-25. Great Britain went 2-2 overall with wins over Pakistan and Brazil before falling to Israel 9-1 in the championship game.
A three-time USA Baseball alum, Nickeas was named an assistant coach for the Stripes team at the 2017 17U National Team Development Program, which took place on July 22-28, 2017 in Chicago. The former Yellow Jacket played for Team USA on the 1999 16U National Team, the 2001 18U National Team and the 2003 Collegiate National Team. The 2003 USA National Team included a total of four Yellow Jackets in Nickeas, Eric Patterson, Tyler Greene and Micah Owings.
A standout catcher for the Yellow Jackets from 2002-04, Nickeas played in 151 games in his collegiate career and hit .291 with 17 home runs and 95 RBIs. He was a freshman on the Jackets’ 2002 College World Series squad and helped Tech to an ACC Championship in 2003. He also led the team in hitting his sophomore season.
Nickeas was drafted in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Texas Rangers in 2004 and was later traded to the New York Mets in 2006 for Victor Diaz. He made his Major League Baseball debut on September 2, 2010 for the Mets. Nickeas recorded his first major league hit off of Yovani Gallardo, his first homer off of J.A. Happ and hit a grand slam off of Dale Thayer of the Padres during his MLB career.
Nickeas played three seasons with the Mets and in 2012 was one of two catchers to handle R.A. Dickey in his breakout Cy Young winning season. In 2013 Nickeas was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays with fellow catcher Josh Thole and pitcher R.A. Dickey in exchange for John Buck, Travis d’Arnaud, Wuilmer Becerra and Noah Syndergaard. Nickeas retired from professional baseball following the 2014 season.
Nickeas was born in Vancouver, B.C. to Mark and Sherrie. Mark was a professional soccer player for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the NASL. Nickeas grew up in Westlake Village, Calif. and signed with the Yellow Jackets after a prep career at Westlake High School.
In 2007 he was granted dual citizenship (Great Britain) and played for the Great Britain National Team in the 2007 European Baseball Championship, helping the British to a silver medal.
Nickeas and his wife Rebecca reside in Atlanta.
|THE MIKE NICKEAS FILE|
|Born||February 13, 1983|
|Education||Georgia Tech, 2015 (B.S. in business administration)|
|2002-04|| Georgia Tech (played on 2002 College World Series team)
(played on 2003 ACC Championship team)
|2004||Drafted in the fifth round by the Texas Rangers|
|2004-06||Texas Rangers organization|
|2007-12||New York Mets organization|
|2010-12||New York Mets|
|2013-14||Toronto Blue Jays|
|2015||Georgia Tech||Undergraduate Assistant Coach|
|2016||Great Britain (WBC)||Bench Coach|
|2016-17||Georgia Tech||Volunteer Assistant Coach|
|2017-present||Georgia Tech||Assistant Coach / Hitting|