During the lull in the action on the fields, courts and mats around the state during the summer months, the Minnesota College Athletic Conference will continue to highlight some of the many dedicated coaches and professional staff who make the MCAC a great league for student-athletes to pursue both athletic and academic opportunities.
The following release is the first of several scheduled for this summer and features one of the newest faces in the MCAC women's coaching ranks: Nicki Kosik, recently appointed athletic coordinator and two-sport head coach at Vermilion Community College.
The MCAC was able to catch up with Kosik earlier this week to learn more about her background, coaching influences and vision for VCC. With a storied history in Minnesota and the NJCAA, Vermilion Community College has their sights set on a strong and balanced 2019-20 athletic campaign.
Kosik takes over the helm for the Ironwomen volleyball and basketball programs for 2019-20, and assumes the role of Athletic Director at Vermilion as well. Kosik has spent most of her life involved in competitive athletics in some capacity, including a collegiate career which began in the two-year college environment.
After featuring as a three-sport athlete in high school at San Dimas High School in southern California, Kosik continued her volleyball and basketball careers at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California. She then transferred to California Polytechnic University, Pomona where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies.
Kosik returned to San Dimas to begin her teaching career, serving in that capacity for 15 years. Kosik was the Athletic Director for 13 of those seasons, earning several awards and accolades along the way, including the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section Champion for Character Award and the CIF-SS Distinguished Service Award. Over the course of 19 years in the California scholastic coaching ranks, Kosik mentored athletes in multiple sports including volleyball, basketball and track. Additionally, Kosik earned her Master's of Coaching and Athletic Administration degree from Concordia University-Irvine.
MCAC: What led you to Vermilion Community College?:
My husband, Justin Kosik, was hired at Vermilion last year as the new head football and softball coach so we initially moved to Minnesota for that reason. Once I was there, I began helping in any capacity I could because I fell in love with the school and community. Once the Athletic Director position was flown, I knew that I wanted to apply for it and hoped for the best!
MCAC: How long have you been in coaching and athletics?:
I have been coaching for the last 20 years and I was a high school athletic director for 13 years prior to moving to Minnesota.
MCAC: So, southern California to northern Minnesota. What are your thoughts on the weather here?:
This weather is INSANE! I had never seen temperatures lower than about 15 degrees so when it dropped to NEGATIVE temperatures, I was taking screenshots of the temps and sending them to my family and friends like crazy! I actually really enjoyed it, though. I had never been sledding or made snow angels or thrown boiling water in the air so all of those activities made my heart happy!
MCAC: Have you had any crazy questions from family or friends back in California about Minnesota?:
Yes! Mostly the questions have been about the weather. While we were going through the Polar Vortex, my family and friends would call concerned about me going outside and freezing to death on the spot. They watched the news and it sounded like that was likely to happen so they would ask if we were just confined to our houses each day. They were all so shocked to hear that we proceeded "business as usual" each day.
MCAC: Who have been some important influences in your coaching & administrative career?:
I have been fortunate to know some pretty incredible administrators in my life. I had a district administrator, Nan Hall, who taught me so much about leadership, poise, and accountability. Rob Wigod, who is the Commissioner for the California Interscholastic Federation- Southern Section, has been another major influence in my career. He taught me the importance of always looking at the bigger picture while keeping the main focus on the betterment of those we are helping and that having integrity in all circumstances is imperative. Lastly, my main influence in my career has been my mom. I am one of seven children so I learned about teamwork from a very young age. My mom has been the greatest coach I have ever known. She taught me loyalty, perseverance, and the strength you need to be a leader. I have been truly blessed to have these, and many other, influences in my life and career. They most definitely shaped me into the person I am today.
MCAC: With oversight of the athletic department - as well as recruiting and coaching volleyball and basketball - what are some of your short-term goals?:
My main focus for our athletic department is to grow the numbers in our female sports. I want to help build and increase community relations. I plan to establish clear and efficient communication with all stakeholders involved in VCC's Athletic Program, and above all, I plan to support our entire coaching staff so we can move our athletic program forward as a unit.
MCAC: Vermilion has a strong reputation and tradition in Minnesota. What stands out to you in terms of VCC Athletics and Ely?:
What I am most impressed with about VCC Athletics and Ely is the strong community ties and alumni support that the VCC Athletic Program has built over the years. The tradition of excellence is because of that support, and I am looking forward to helping continue that!
MCAC: What does 2019-20 hold for Vermilion athletics? Any predictions about how some of your season(s) will go?:
We are very fortunate to have an incredible staff across the board at Vermilion. Many of us are relatively new to our positions at VCC so our hope is to bring the prior experience that we do have, coupled with the talented recruits we have joining our teams, and create competitive programs that will be able to challenge any opponent we face.
This release sponsored in part by:
The United Heroes League seeks to keep military kids healthy and active through sports while their parents are serving the nation. The United Heroes League is headquartered in Hastings, Minnesota and offers several opportunities for colleges, businesses, organizations and individuals to help support their cause. The #1 goal for the United Heros League is to ensure that all 5 million military kids are able to develop critical life skills through sports. This intense focus on youth development and serving the families of our miliary service members motivates the United Heroes League to keep programs focused. This focus has also inspired over 90 professional athletes and over 30 sports franchises to lend their name and support to the United Heroes League.
About the Minnesota College Athletic Conference
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State system. The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions. The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.