We are heartbroken to be writing that USC Football Inside Receivers Coach and Associate Head Coach for offense Dave Nichol has passed away at 45 years old. Cancer is the reported cause of his passing. Nichol passed away in McKinney, Texas. Nichol had been announced to be away from the team earlier in the week indefinitely due to an unknown medical issue.
Luke Huard, who most recently was an Analyst for Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M from 2019-2021 and currently an Analyst for USC had been promoted to the role for however long Nichol needed to get his health right. Here is Head Coach Lincoln Riley's statement on Nichol's unfortunate passing:
This squad certainly will be playing and coaching for Nichol, who leaves a legacy of being both a great coach and a great man, as Riley pointed out. As a coach, Nichol was the inside receivers coach at Washington State under Mike Leach from 2017 to 2019 and at Mississippi State from 2020-2021, after he was the wide receivers coach for Leach at Washington State in 2016. Leach had this to say about the devastating news:
Dave Nichol was the perfect man to represent USC football and the Trojan family.
Everyone close to Dave Nichol talks about how he was not only a great coach everywhere he went and with USC football, but that he was a phenomenal person as well. Nichol was the one who replaced Riley as East Carolina University Offensive Coordinator and QBs coach in 2015 when Riley took the OC/QB Coach job at Oklahoma.
The two not only shared the same job line on their resumes, but also shared coaching trees. Both Riley and he come from the Mike Leach coaching tree, as Riley was a quarterback for Leach at Texas Tech in 2002 and coached for Leach there from '03-'09.
Both Nichol and Riley had been wide receivers coaches and inside receivers coaches for Leach, as Riley was the wide receivers coach for him in 2007 and the inside wide receivers coach for him from 2008-2009 (all at Texas Tech). The two coached together at East Carolina University for three years (2012-2014), when Nichol was the outside receivers coach there. Nichol began coaching as a student coach under Leach at Texas Tech in 2000 and 2001 after he was done playing there himself. He worked with both wideouts and quarterbacks there.
His legacy will certainly never be forgotten. He came a long way in his coaching career, and was just getting started as a coach and as a person. Our thoughts at Reign of Troy are with his family as they navigate this tough time.