Nicole Thorn
Nicole Thorn
Title: Head Coach
Phone: 903-693-2006
Email: nthorn@panola.edu

 

CARTHAGE — Nicole Thorn is headed back to the college ranks after spending the past six seasons as head coach at White Oak High School.

Thorn, who played her high school volleyball at Pine Tree and is a former NJCAA Region XIV Coach of the Year and a University of Florida Hall of Famer, is the new head volleyball coach at Panola College, the school announced on Tuesday.

 “We are excited about having Nicole Thorn back with Panola College,” said Don Clinton, Vice President of Student Services at Panola College. “There is no doubt that she will maintain a high standard for our volleyball program on and off the court. We welcome her back with open arms.”

Thorn is replacing her sister, Amber McCray, who was hired as the head coach at Louisiana Tech after compiling a 165-49 record in six seasons with the Fillies and leading the program to back-to-back NJCAA National Tournament appearances in 2016 and 2017.

It will be Thorn’s second tour at Panola, where she coached from 2008 through 2012 and led the Fillies to the program’s first NJCAA National Tournament appearance in 2009.

 Thorn received her bachelor’s from the University of Florida, where she was the 2000 SEC Player of the Year, a four-time all-SEC honoree and a second-team All-American in 2002 when she helped lead the Gators to a Final Four appearance. Thorn was also the recipient of the Ben Hill Griffin Award in 2002, which honors the top female athlete at Florida.

After leaving Florida, Thorn played professional volleyball in Puerto Rico for a year before returning to the United States to begin her coaching career at Berry College in Rome, Georgia.

Her Panola teams compiled a 107-50 record in five seasons, and her teams at White Oak High School went 183-61 — including a trip to the UIL State Volleyball Tournament.