One year after joining Liberty's staff as an assistant coach, Nikki Parsley-Blocker was named the program's second head coach on January 16, 2017.
Parsley-Blocker joined Liberty's staff as an assistant coach on May 1 in time for Liberty's first season as a part of the BIG EAST Conference. Parsley-Blocker is the second head coach in the history of the program, taking over for program founder Jodi Murphy, who left in December 2016.
In her first season as head coach, Parsley-Blocker guided Liberty to an 8-11 mark and a No. 23 national ranking at season's end. The Lady Flames finished 5-2 in BIG EAST regular-season play for a second straight year and placed as the runner-up at the 2017 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship. The Lady Flames faced nine nationally ranked foes in 2017, including all four 2017 Division I Field Hockey Championship Final Four participants.
Parsley-Blocker instructed Liberty's four All-BIG EAST selections in 2017 - Agueda Moroni (first team), Jill Bolton (first team), Ashley Dykema (first team) and Allison Schaefer (second team). Moroni also went on to become the third All-American in program history, earning NFHCA Division I All-America second team recognition.
Moroni (first team) and Bolton (second team) both garnered inclusion on the NFHCA All-South Region team. In addition, Moroni (first team), Bolton (second team) and Dykema (second team) all garnered recognition on the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) Field Hockey All-State University Division team.
During her first season with the Lady Flames in fall 2016, Parsley-Blocker helped Liberty post an 8-10 record and finish in second place in the BIG EAST with a 5-2 conference mark. The Lady Flames squared off against 10 nationally ranked opponents in 2016, spotlighted by a 2-1 overtime victory against No. 20 American on Oct. 6.
Parsley-Blocker coached Liberty's five All-BIG EAST selections in 2016, including BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Allison Schaefer and BIG EAST Co-Defensive Player of the Year Serena Barr. Barr also went on to earn NFHCA Division I All-America second team honors, becoming the second All-American in program history.
"From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew there was something unbelievably special about Liberty University and its field hockey program," commented Parsley-Blocker. "I truly believe Liberty is set apart from any other institution in the country to allow the school to glorify Jesus Christ. There is absolutely no place I would rather coach at than Liberty, and I'm blessed for the opportunity to lead such a unique group of young women."
"In just six short years, the Liberty field hockey program has established itself as a nationally prominent team, competing against the top teams in the nation, and I look forward to ushering LUFH into its next chapter," continued Parsley-Blocker. "My mission is to prepare players for lifelong success on and off the field by leading them closer to Christ, whilst developing a highly competitive and intense environment. After working with the team for the last year, we will look to build upon our success, continue to grow and make history."
Parsley-Blocker came to Liberty after spending the 2014 and 2015 seasons as an assistant coach at Yale.
Prior to her two-year stint at Yale, Parsley-Blocker concluded a standout career at Northwestern in 2014, where she earned second team All-America honors as a senior. Parsley-Blocker was a four-time All-West region pick and a three-time All-Big 10 selection.
A forward/midfielder, Parsley-Blocker started 76 games, totaling 33 goals and 76 points. The Wildcats went 54-27 in Parsley-Blocker's playing career, earning a share of the Big Ten championship in 2014.
Parsley-Blocker also has extensive experience with USA Field Hockey, including playing for the U.S. at the Four Nations Tournament in New Zealand in April 2013. She also played on the junior national team at the Junior World Cup in Germany in August 2013, helping the U.S. to a seventh-place finish, tied for the best in the team's history.
In January 2013, Parsley-Blocker played in the Australian Youth Olympics, and in September 2012 she played in the Junior Pan American Games in Mexico. She helped the U.S. to a third-place finish at the Junior Pan Am Games, leading the team with eight goals.
Parsley-Blocker has also played for the U.S. U-21 team (on a tour of England in April 2012) and the U.S. U-19 team (on a tour of Chile in April 2011). She is currently an assistant coach for the U.S. U-17 Women's National Team.
Parsley-Blocker received her B.S. in education and social policy from Northwestern in 2014. She earned Academic All-Big Ten honors three times, was on the Dean's List three times and was also a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.
Parsley-Blocker is originally from Milford, Del.
Parsley-Blocker, formerly Parsley, is married to Liberty Assistant Athletic Trainer Hugh Blocker, who serves as the athletic trainer for the Lady Flames and Flames cross country and track & field programs. The couple was married in Jan. 2018.