NC State defeated Clemson by a final score of 76-50 on 1/10/15. Photos by Greg Mintel and Kristy Shaefer.
A veteran with 13 seasons of experience as an assistant coach, Nikki West will enter her third season with the Wolfpack with the start of the 2015-16 season.
During her first season at NC State (2013-14), West helped lead the Wolfpack to the following accomplishments:
A 25-8 record A top 25 RPI A fourth place ACC finish despite preseason prediction of 10th 11 straight weeks in the AP and USA Today polls A first AP top-10 ranking since 2001 Four wins over AP top-20 teams Ten wins over top-100 RPI teams A 13-2 nonconference record A 14-2 record at home
Her second season (2014-15) on the Wolfpack staff was also impressive, as the team struggled through the significant adversity of having five student-athletes miss a combined 81 games throughout the season as a result of multiple injuries and an NCAA ruling on freshman Bosnian center Sara Boric to still finish with an 18-15 record which ended in the Sweet 16 of the 2015 WNIT.
NC State head coach Wes Moore announced on April 17, 2013 that Nikki West had been named Associate Head Coach for the Wolfpack Women's basketball program.
"Nikki is someone who has competed at this level and knows what it takes to be successful in the ACC," said Moore. "She's a great mentor, a great role model for our players. Nikki does an excellent job recruiting and puts my mind at ease knowing that she will be here with me as we embark on this new journey together at NC State."
West served on Moore's coaching staff at Chattanooga for nine seasons (2004-13), including six years as an assistant coach before being elevated to associate head coach her final three seasons with the Lady Mocs.
"I'm thrilled to be here at NC State," said West. I'm looking forward to continuing to work with one of the best coaches in the country and my mentor, Wes Moore. NC State is a tremendous institution with great leadership, and the department has a rich tradition. It's an exciting time to be a part of the Wolfpack Family."
At Chattanooga, West played a key role in winning seven Southern Conference titles, and making eight postseason appearances, including five NCAA Tournaments.
West works primarily with the Wolfpack post players, as she did at UTC. Under her tutelage, Alex Anderson and Shanara Hollinquest were both named SoCon Players of the Year twice, and were each selected SoCon Female Athlete of the Year.
In nine seasons with West on staff, the Lady Mocs earned 25 first-team All-SoCon selections. Additionally, UTC had five SoCon Tournament MVPs and 23 all-tournament selections dating back to 2004-05.
The Lady Mocs had a record of 220-68 (76.3%) with West on the sidelines.
No stranger to the Atlantic Coast Conference, the former Nikki Blassingame was an All-ACC performer at Clemson from 1996-99. She helped lead the Tigers to four NCAA Tournament appearances while playing in 126 career games.
Clemson won the program's first ACC Tournament title in 1996 when West was a freshman. The Tigers repeated that feat in 1999 when she was named to the ACC All-Tournament team. The 1998-99 squad won a school-record 26 games, advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and finished the season ranked 10th by the Associated Press.
As a senior she started all 31 games and averaged 10.4 points and 7.9 rebounds. West graduated in 2000 with a degree in early childhood education from Clemson. She was a three-year member of the athletic department's Tiger Honor Roll.
Prior to her time at Chattanooga, West spent two seasons as an assistant coach at USC Spartanburg from 2002-04.
She also coached the Carolina Lady Flames AAU team in 2002, leading the squad to the 15 and under state championship. She also served as head coach of the junior varsity team at Dorman High School and was a varsity assistant coach. She led the Lady Cavaliers to a 15-4 record and the junior varsity championship in 2001.
A native of Seneca, S.C., West led Seneca High School to the state championship her senior year. In June 2011, she married UTC football assistant coach Marcus West.