Bethany Nickless is in her first year as an assistant coach for Azusa Pacific's cross country and track & field programs.
Nickless ran collegiately at UC Santa Barbara, where she was a two-time Big West champion in the steeplechase and two-time conference 5,000-meter runner-up in track & field while earning all-conference in cross country three of her four years. Following her collegiate career, she joined the coaching staff at UC Santa Barbara for three years. In 2010, she helped guide the Gaucho women's cross country team to the Big West title while the men claimed second place in conference.
Named the Big West Cross Country Athlete of the Year her senior season, Nickless was a part of three conference championship teams in cross country. She helped lead the Gauchos to a ninth-place national finish in 2006 and 17th place in 2007, and in track & field, she was a two-time NCAA Division I nationals qualifier in steeplechase.
Nickless continues to train and run post-collegiately, registering one of the United States' top-25 steeplechase times of 2012 by clocking a 9:59.29 in June at the Portland Track Festival. She easily bested the provisional "B" qualifying standard for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, but she barely missed the cut to compete in the trials.
A native of Huntington Beach, Nickless graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2008 with a degree in mathematics and a minor in exercise and health science. She currently resides in Azusa.