Dave Nichol, who was hired this past December to be Lincoln Riley’s inside receivers coach at USC, passed away on Friday. He was just 45 years old.
Nichol stepped away from the team indefinitely earlier this week due to what was described as a “private medical matter.” The announcement about Nichol stepping away came one day before USC kicked off spring practice on Tuesday.
“We are heartbroken and devastated. Dave was such a tremendous human being and a fantastic football coach. He absolutely loved the game and constantly poured his heart and soul into his teams. He will be dearly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. We, as a program, look forward to playing and coaching for him as we move forward,” Riley said in a statement released by the school.
In addition to the release from the school, Riley also relayed his sadness in a post on his personal Twitter page.
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Prior to joining USC, Nichol spent two seasons at Mississippi State and three seasons at Washington State as an assistant under Mike Leach. Leach released a statement as well following the news of Nichol’s passing.
“Dave Nichol recently passed away from a sudden battle with a number of health issues. We are stunned by this, and Dave meant a lot to all of us,” Leach said.
“While we are all suffering the pain of this loss, our thoughts and prayers are with Dave’s family, friends, players and coaches during this tough time. Dave was family to us, and he was loved by all who knew him. Always a smile on his face, Dave had such a positive personality, attitude and energy. He made everyone around him a better person and impacted everyone he met with kindness, loyalty and friendship. He meant a lost to me as well as countless others, and I will forever be grateful to have had him in my life for the last 22 years. He was on my first staff at Texas Tech. Dave is gone way too soon. We have lost an amazing friend, coach and all-around great guy. Rest in peace, my friend. We miss you already.”
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