Former Legendary Basketball Coach Bob Nichols Passes Away at Age 82
TOLEDO, OH - Former legendary University of Toledo men’s basketball coach Bob Nichols passed away on Saturday at the age of 82. Nichols’ lifetime record at Toledo was 376-212 in 22 seasons and still ranks today as the most wins by any basketball coach in Mid-American Conference history. Nichols led the Rockets to 20 consecutive winning seasons from 1965-66 through 1984-85. His 1966-67 squad posted a 23-2 record, the best record in school history, and was ranked No. 11 in the nation in the final UPI poll that season.
During his coaching career, Nichols led the Rockets to the NCAA Tournament in 1967, 1979 and 1980. The 1979 squad advanced to the Sweet 16 with a win over Big Ten champion Iowa before falling to Notre Dame. Nichols also coached six Academic-All Americans and 18 Academic All-MAC honorees.
His teams earned five MAC titles and he coached five MAC Players of the Year. Nichols also had a 5-0 record against Big Ten teams from 1976-79, including wins over Michigan (twice), Ohio State, Indiana and Iowa. The victory over Indiana came in the inaugural game in Savage Arena, as Toledo upset the defending national champion Hoosiers, 59-57, snapping their 33-game win streak.
Nichols in the only four-time winner of the Ohio College 'Coach of the Year' award (1967, 1972, 1979, 1980). Nichols is a member of the Toledo Varsity T Hall of Fame, the MAC Hall of Fame, the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame and the basketball floor at Savage Arena is named in his honor.
Nichols earned three varsity letters in basketball at Toledo as a player from 1950-53, served as assistant basketball coach for two seasons (1964-65) before becoming the Rockets' head coach.
Story courtesy of Toledo Sports Information