Florida assistant coach Darris Nichols has been hired as the new head coach at Radford, the school announced Wednesday. Nichols is a native of Radford, VA who played at West Virginia and has eleven years of experience as an assistant.
“Darris Nichols is a star,” AD Robert Lineburg said in a release. “He was an outstanding student-athlete at Radford High School and at West Virginia University. He has climbed the ranks as an assistant coach all the way to the University of Florida in the SEC. At each stop, he has made a tremendous impact. He has played for and worked with some of America’s best basketball coaches, which is so important. He is prepared and ready for this moment, and we are thrilled to welcome him home.”
This will be the first head coaching opportunity for Nichols, who has worked with Mike White for the last seven years (six at Florida). He played in three NCAA Tournaments with the Mountaineers (and won a NIT title in 2007) and has now been to four more NCAAs as an assistant with the Gators. Prior to his hiring by White at Louisiana Tech in 2014, Nichols also worked at Bryant, Northern Kentucky and as a grad assistant at WVU under Bob Huggins.
“Congratulations to Darris,” said Nichols’ former coach Huggins. “I’m extremely proud of him. I’ve always known he was going to be a head coach, basically when he knew all the sets better than I did. I want to wish him good luck, and I’m hoping he’ll come to Morgantown and see us, along with his team.”
Nichols is stepping into a good situation at his hometown school, as the Highlanders are 81-47 over the last four seasons. Former head coach Mike Jones, who left for UNC Greensboro last week, led the program to two Big South titles (2019 and 2020) and went to the NCAA Tournament in 2018.