Dave Nichol, USC inside receivers coach, dies at 45 – Daily News

The new USC coaching staff was struck by tragedy Friday as inside receivers Dave Nichol died at 45 in McKinney, Texas.

Nichol’s death was announced in a university statement. His cause of death is cancer, a source familiar with the situation said. USC had announced Monday that Nichol was stepping away from the team “to focus on a private medical matter.”

Nichol was hired by USC in December to help with receivers and serve as associate head coach for the offense. He was a longtime associate of new USC head coach Lincoln Riley. They served as graduate assistants at Texas Tech from 2003-05 before working together at East Carolina a decade later.

“We are heartbroken and devastated,” Riley said in a statement.  “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.”

Nichol spent 2020 and 2021 at Mississippi State as inside receivers coach under Mike Leach, his first boss when he was a student coach for the Red Raiders in 2000 and 2001.

“Dave meant a lot to all of us,” Leach said in a statement. “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.”

Nichol was a wide receiver at Texas Tech in 1999.

Prior to Mississippi State, Nichol was an assistant at Washington State from 2016 to 2019. He coached all receivers his first year before moving to inside for his final three seasons.

Nichol was the outside receivers coach at East Carolina from 2012-14 before succeeding Riley as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2015 when Riley left to fill the same role at Oklahoma.

“I met Dave Nichol in 2002. He gave me my shot to be a college player and coach. Taught me everything,” Riley tweeted. “Safe to say I wouldn’t be here today without Dave. [One] of the best/most unselfish people ever. Love you [and] miss you brother.”

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