Bob Nichols

Bob Nichols (1930-2013)

Teams coached: Toledo Rockets
Toledo record: 375-213 (.638)
Overall record^: 375-213 (.638)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  3  (1967, 1979, 1980)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  1  (1979)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  1  (1981)
  • NCIT Appearances:  1  (1974)
  • MAC Regular Season Champion:  4  (1967, 1979, 1980, 1981)
  • MAC Tournament Champion:  1  (1980)


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1989-1994 Eckerd (women’s)
1965-1987 Toledo
1964-1965 Toledo (asst)
1963-1964 Bowling Green (asst)

Bob Nichols Facts

  • Robert J. Nichols
  • Born July 10, 1930
  • Died March 30, 2013
  • Hometown: Jackson, Michigan
  • Alma Mater: University of Toledo (BA, 1953)
  • Played for head coach Jerry Bush at Toledo, serving as team captain for the 1952-53 season
  • First coaching opportunity was part-time at Nazareth Hall Military Academy (OH), where he also was a part-time teacher
  • Started his coaching career in earnest at Central Catholic HS in Toledo, where he went 111-39 over seven seasons
  • Joined Warren Scholler’s staff at Bowling Green in 1963 before returning to his alma mater a year later
  • After one season on Ed Melvin‘s staff, Nichols was made the Rockets’ head coach in 1965
    • Compiled a 375-213 record in 22 seasons at the helm, making him the winningest coach in program and MAC history
    • Claimed four MAC titles and went to the NCAA Tournament three times, including a trip to the 1979 Sweet Sixteen
      • The 1978-79 squad finished the season at #19 in the AP Poll, their first Final AP ranking since 1951
      • The following season, Nichols’ team won the first-ever MAC Tournament
    • Among the players Nichols coached was 1969 MAC POY and long-time NBA player Steve Mix
    • Nichols resigned in 1987 following back-to-back losing seasons (the only two of his entire tenure)
    • The basketball court at Toledo’s Savage Arena is now named in Nichols’ honor
  • Final coaching job was a five-year stint as the head women’s coach at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL
  • Passed away in 2013 at age 82; survived by his wife, Barbara, and their six children

Bob Nichols Coaching Tree


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the men’s NCAA Division I level only