A sophomore from Seattle, Washington, Simpson has completed her undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in Hispanic studies. She will begin working towards a Master’s degree in kinesiology with a concentration in sport psychology and motor behavior in the fall.
“It’s a lot of excitement and a lot of gratitude,” Simpson said. “For the opportunities that I have had and for the amazing staff that we have here and who have helped me reach this point.”
A softball program under head coach Karen Weekly steeped in academic success with five SEC Scholar-Athletes and 29 CSC Academic All-America selections, Simpson is the first student-athlete to graduate in two years.
“What Nicola has accomplished in just two years is nothing short of amazing,” Weekly said. “It’s equally impressive that her success isn’t limited to the classroom and softball field. She is a leader on our team and campus as well, devoting many hours to service activities. But if you know Nic, it’s not really surprising. She is goal-oriented, driven, passionate, and has an incredible work ethic.”
Recently named a CSC Academic All-District Team member, the right-hander was tabbed to the 2021-22 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll last season and also earned 2022 Easton/NFCA Scholar-Athlete accolades for her dedication in the classroom.
“The honors and recognition are just a tribute to how much Lady Vol softball and the Lady Vols, in general, prioritize academics,” Simpson said. “We really pride ourselves on being student-athletes and not just athletes. The coaches, staff and all of our resources help us thrive in academics.
“I did not know that I am the first softball player to graduate in two years. It is definitely an honor, but it just speaks to how much support we have and how everyone around us wants us to succeed. It is truly an honor and I am so grateful for everyone who has helped me.”
Building upon her academic success, Simpson was selected to represent Tennessee softball in the VOLeaders Program this year. As a member of VOLeader Cohort 8.0, she will travel to the Philippines over the summer with the aim to use her platform in sports to bring a positive impact to local communities in the country.
Soon to be a four-time Dean’s List honoree, Simpson is equally accomplished on the softball diamond. In high school,…