MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis Athletics continues to expand its wellness offerings for student-athletes with the addition of Dr. Yarlie R. Nicolas, LMFT as Deputy Director of Athletics, Mental Health and Athletic Performance. Dr. Nicolas has over 10 years of clinical experience in education, private practice, corporate training, organizational leadership, crisis intervention and community mental health.
“We are thrilled to add someone of Dr. Nicolas’ caliber to our athletics department,” said the University of Memphis vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics. Laird Veatch said. “Feedback from our student-athletes and coaches has identified mental health services as one of our top priorities, and Dr. Nicolas’ credentials make her the ideal person to lead and build a team of professionals in this field. We strive to be at the forefront of student-athlete development off the field, as well as on the field, and the hiring of Dr. Nicolas is another example of this as mental health services continue to take on more and more importance in our society.
“I am thrilled to bring the theme of ‘being…breathing…building’ to our student-athletes, coaches and staff at the University of Memphis,” said Dr. Nicolas. “In order to effectively impact the development of student-athletes on and off the field, it is important to also strengthen the systems and relationships that can influence performance, such as coaches and other off-court interactions. Memphis’ commitment to the well-being of its student-athletes is extremely impressive, and I look forward to lending my expertise to these fantastic individuals and teams.”
“In an effort to meet the mental health needs of our student-athletes while providing a resource to our coaches, administration and staff, we sought out someone who had a clinical and athletic performance background,” said Memphis Senior Associate Athletic Director, Student -Athlete Welfare Marlon Dechausay. “We knew we needed someone who could come up with a vision and grow it. We found everything we were looking for, and more, in Dr Nicolas. The way she connected with our students -athletes and coaches in a short period of time has been incredible, and the partnerships she is building on campus and within the community will allow us to provide the best care for our student-athletes.”
Dr. Nicolas is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University and majored in psychology with a minor in sociology. After completing her undergraduate studies, Dr. Nicolas continued her education with a Masters in Mental Health Counseling at Nova Southeastern University. During this time, Dr. Nicolas worked as a sports marketing intern with active and veteran NBA and NFL players for six years. These experiences sparked a passion to pursue and earn his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Dr. Kiran Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine at Nova Southeastern University in 2020.
Dr. Nicolas has worked for the Broward County District Public Schools, equipping leadership on topics related to suicide prevention, mental health, and social-emotional learning for several years, and she is a member of the AAMFT (American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy) and AASP (Association for Applied Sports Psychology), Psi Chi International Honor Society and active in the faith community.
Dr. Nicolas has been a guest speaker for the National Black Master’s in Business Administration Association (NBMBAA), Nova Southeastern University Psychology and Counseling Careers Webinar and is very involved in the community, addressing various mental health topics such as stress management, self-esteem, self-care, and setting healthy boundaries.
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