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Nick Nicolau
Biographical details
Born(1933-05-05)May 5, 1933
New York City, New York
DiedDecember 6, 2014(2014-12-06) (aged 81)
Wareham, Massachusetts
Playing career
1957–1959Southern Connecticut
Position(s)Running back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1960Southern Connecticut (assistant)
1961Springfield (assistant)
1962–1964Bridgeport (assistant)
1970Massachusetts (RB)
1971–1972Connecticut (assistant)
1973–1975Kentucky (RB)
1976Kent State (assistant)
1977Hamilton Tiger-Cats (RB)
1978–1979Montreal Alouettes (RB)
1980New Orleans Saints (RB)
1981Denver Broncos (special assistant)
1982–1987Denver Broncos (RB)
1988Los Angeles Raiders (WR)
1989–1991Buffalo Bills (WR)
1992–1994Indianapolis Colts (OC)
1995–1996Jacksonville Jaguars (TE)
1997–1998San Diego Chargers (AHC)
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
1 EFC (1969)
EFC Coach of the Year (1966, 1969)
SCSU Athletic Hall of Fame (1995)

Anthero "Nick" Nicolau (May 5, 1933 – December 6, 2014) was a longtime NFL and college football assistant coach. He graduated from Southern Connecticut State University.[1]

He spent most of the 1960s -'70s coaching at college programs such as Bridgeport (Head Coach), Massachusetts, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Kent State.

Nicolau broke into the NFL with the New Orleans Saints in 1980 under then head coach Dick Stanfel. He moved on to the Denver Broncos, coaching the running backs from 1981 through 1987. Some of the players he coached included Dave Preston, Sammy Winder, and Steve Sewell.

A dispute ended his tenure in Denver. He landed with the Los Angeles Raiders, but got into a dispute with another assistant coach, Art Shell. Shell was supported by owner and managing partner Al Davis, who fired Nicolau. He then went to the Buffalo Bills and served as their wide receivers coach from 1989 to 1991. There he worked with talents such as Andre Reed and Don Beebe. It was rumored that Nicolau left Buffalo due to a dispute with offensive line coach Tom Bresnahan who became offensive coordinator the next season.

In 1992, he became the offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts under head coach Ted Marchibroda with whom he worked in Buffalo. He helped the Colts to a 9–7 record in 1992 and an 8–8 record in 1994. He helped develop Reggie Langhorne as a receiver and worked with quarterback Jeff George as well. In 1994, he helped turn running back Marshall Faulk as a rookie while also working with both Jim Harbaugh and Don Majkowski at quarterback.

Nicolau then spent two seasons coaching the tight ends for the Jacksonville Jaguars, helping to develop Pete Mitchell as a blocker and receiver. In 1997, Jaguars offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride became the head coach of the San Diego Chargers and Nicolau followed him to California. There he served two years as the Chargers assistant head coach before retiring after the 1998 NFL season. He died aged 81 on December 6, 2014.[2]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Bridgeport Purple Knights (Eastern Football Conference) (1965–1969)
1965 Bridgeport 3–6 1–3 4th
1966 Bridgeport 7–3 3–1 2nd
1967 Bridgeport 2–6 2–2 3rd
1968 Bridgeport 4–5 3–2 T–2nd
1969 Bridgeport 8–2 4–0 1st L Knute Rockne Bowl
Bridgeport: 24–22 13–8
Total: 24–22
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ "Hall of Fame - Anthero 'Nick' Nicolau Class of 1957". Southern Connecticut State University. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  2. ^ "Longtime football coach Nicolau dies at 81". 8 December 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2021.