USC assistant coach Dave Nichol has died at the age of 45


USC assistant football coach Dave Nichol died Friday, less than a week after it was announced he was retiring from the team to focus on a medical matter. He was 45.

“We are heartbroken and devastated,” head coach Lincoln Riley said in a statement. “Dave was such a great person and a fantastic football coach. He absolutely loved the game and constantly put his heart and soul into his teams. He will be greatly missed.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his family. We as a program look forward to playing and training for him as we continue to develop.”

Nichol joined Riley’s first coaching staff at USC in December. He previously coached wide receivers at Mississippi State (2020-21) and Washington State (2016-19) after getting his first shot as an offensive coordinator in his fourth season at East Carolina (2012-15).

Nichol is survived by his father Robert Nichol Sr. and brothers Robert Nichol Jr. and Jimmy Nichol. The school did not disclose a cause of death, but Nichol had cancer, according to multiple reports.

Nichol worked under head coach Mike Leach at Mississippi State and Washington State after starting as a student assistant under Leach at Texas Tech. Leach released a statement on Twitter said that Nichol “died from a sudden battle with a series of health issues.”

“We are stunned by this and Dave meant a lot to all of us,” Leach wrote. “While we are all suffering the pain of this loss, our thoughts and prayers are with Dave’s family, friends, players and coaches at this difficult time. Dave was family to us and he was loved by everyone who knew him.

“Always smiling,” Dave had such a positive personality, attitude and energy. He made everyone around him a better person and influenced everyone he met with kindness, loyalty and friendship. He meant a lot to me and countless others and I will forever be grateful to have had him in my life for the past 22 years.” USC assistant coach Dave Nichol has died at the age of 45


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