A six-time player on the team and twice a winner, Nicholas was assistant captain to Catrin Nilsmark in 2003, when Europe last won the competition contested every two years between the top players in the U.S. and Europe. The Englishwoman succeeds Helen Alfredsson.
'It's a great honor and I'm delighted,' Nicholas said Monday. 'I can't wait, it's fantastic.
Nicholas has a tough task when the teams meet at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois in August 2009. The Americans lead the series 7-3, have never lost on home soil and will be defending the title they retained at Halmstad, Sweden, in September.
'We face a big challenge, but I don't believe that anything is impossible,' Nicholas said. 'I want to enjoy the whole experience and to have fun with my team. I want to help them to be the best that they can be.'
Nicholas, who won the U.S. Open in 1997 but retired from tournament play in 2004, was on the European team when it triumphed in 1992 and 2000, each time in Scotland.
'I'm really excited and very passionate about the Solheim Cup,' she said. 'It's a magnificent competition and something that I always look forward to.
'I always enjoyed playing and I enjoyed the last four events even though I wasn't playing. It's been a very special part of my golfing career.'
Beth Daniel is the U.S. captain.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.