Former Louisville assistant Derek Nicholson accepts position at Miami

U of L inside linebackers coach Derek Nicholson watches practice at the Trager Center in Louisville, Ky. on Mar. 6, 2020.Uofl01 Sam
U of L inside linebackers coach Derek Nicholson watches practice at the Trager Center in Louisville, Ky. on Mar. 6, 2020.Uofl01 Sam /

Derek Nicholson has spent a lot of time in Louisville, Kentucky over the past decade. He was on staff with the University of Louisville football team in two different stints. His first stint came in 2014 under Head Coach Bobby Petrino in his second stint with the program.

Under Petrino, Nicholson served as a defensive assistant for the linebackers and defensive ends. During that season, the Louisville defense was ranked fifth in the nation in total defense and led the nation in interceptions. That’s quite an impressive feat for the Louisville program, yet it was not enough to keep him around for another year.

In the 2015 season, Nicholson was named the defensive line coach at Alcorn State University. While at Alcorn State, he helped lead them to a Southwestern Athletic Conference title. But, that would not be enough to keep him there.

He then moved onto the University of Southern Mississippi, where he would remain until he returned back to the University of Louisville in 2020 under former Head Coach Scott Satterfield. Nicholson played a significant role in developing Monty Montgomery into the force he has become over the years. Montgomery came in as a junior college project, but Nicholson helped mold him into a high-level Division I producer.

After three seasons in Louisville and arguably the most successful one during his tenure, Derek Nicholson decided to follow Scott Satterfield to the University of Cincinnati once it was announced that he had accepted the Head Coach position. But, just a short two months later, he is expected to leave Cincinnati to take a linebackers coach position with the University of Miami, per Matt Zenitz.

Nicholson left the University of Cincinnati without ever even taking the field with the team. But, him heading back to south Florida makes sense because in college he was a standout linebacker at Florida State University and he is very familiar with the area in recruiting. He helped in recruiting Miami Central product Stanquan Clark to Louisville and Miami product Rayquan Adkins originally to Louisville before flipping him to Cincinnati.

With former Louisville Head Coach Charlie Strong leaving the Miami staff, it seemed like Louisville may have had an easier time recruiting in the Sunshine State. But, now with Nicholson going to The U, he will provide some stiff competition in the future in recruiting wars with Louisville.