PRINCETON – Charles W. Caldwell Jr. ’25 Head Coach of Football Bob Surace has announced the hiring of Jason Nichols as running backs coach.
“Jason brings a wealth of experience that will be tremendous for not just our running backs, but our whole staff,” said Surace. “With his wide range of roles during his career, he will add a lot to our offense and I couldn’t be more excited to have him with us!”
Nichols most recently spent time at Army, coaching slot backs.
Previously, he served as the Director of Player Development at East Carolina in 2021. In his role with the Pirates, he oversaw multiple aspects of the players’ day-to-day, including community service activities, off- and on-campus living, and finances. He also was an assistant for ECU during the 2018-17 campaigns. Nichols’ time at ECU was broken up by a two-year stay at Richmond (2020-21), where he held also held the position of Assistant Coach/Running Backs.
Nichols got his start in working with running backs at Western Carolina, where he was an assistant coach for the 2016 season. In his role, he coached Detrez Newsome, who led all of FCS Football with a school-record 2,343 all-purpose yards. Newsome also received All-American honors from three different outlets in his breakout season.
Before his stint with the Catamounts, Nichols enjoyed a five-year stay at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, where he held the titles of Assistant Coach/Receivers and Passing Game Coordinator (2010-15). Nichols, who was voted the best mid-major recruiter by Rivals in 2013, the War Hawks to new heights during his time in Monroe. In 2014, he coached the All-Conference trio of Rashaun Caesar, Ajalen Holley, and Kenzee Jackson Under his guidance, ULM became one of six schools in the country with three 50+ catch receivers and one of three with two 70+ catch receivers. Nichols also mentored Brent Leonard, a First Team All-Conference selection who set the War Hawks’ records in receptions for both a single-season and career.
Nichols’ coaching career began at Sacred Heart University, where he guided the Pioneers to a Northeast Conference Championship, as well as an Eastern College Athletic Conference Bowl title (2001). The first few years of his career also featured stops at App State (2002-04), Kent State (2005-08) and Toledo (2009).
An ECU graduate, Nichols was a four-year starter under Head Football Coach Steve Logan. He played in back-to-back Liberty Bowls in 1994-95 and was named MVP of the ’94 game. Nichols ended his career as the Pirates’ all-time receptions leader and went on to enjoy two pro stints, playing in both the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League. He holds a B.S. in business education from East Carolina.