USC inside receivers coach Dave Nichol steps away indefinitely

Dave Nichol is interviewed during East Carolina's media day.
Dave Nichol is interviewed during East Carolina’s media day in Greenville, N.C., on Aug. 8, 2015.
(Gerry Broome / Associated Press)

New USC inside receivers coach Dave Nichol stepped away from the team to focus on a “private medical matter”, USC announced Monday, one day before the team was set to open spring practice.

Luke Huard, who joined USC’s staff as an offensive analyst last month, will serve in his place while Nichol is away.

As USC’s associate head coach for offense, Nichol was expected to play a major role. He was hired to USC’s staff in December after spending the previous two seasons at Mississippi State under Mike Leach, who also helped launch Lincoln Riley’s coaching career.

Nichol, a former Texas Tech receiver, started his career as student assistant working with quarterbacks under Leach, just as Riley came to the school as a walk-on passer. Riley soon followed Nichol onto Leach’s staff as a student assistant himself, with both eventually working their way up to assistant roles.


Huard steps into the role of interim inside receivers coach after spending the last three seasons as an offensive analyst at Texas A&M. A former quarterback at North Carolina, Huard spent the eight years prior to that as an offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach at Sacramento State, Georgia State and Illinois State.

Drake London, Keaontay Ingram and other USC football standouts spoke with The Times ahead of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.