Darris Nichols Accepts Assistant Position at Louisiana Tech - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Darris Nichols Accepts Assistant Position at Louisiana Tech

 Darris Nichols continues his climb up the assistant coaching ranks with yet another new venture at Louisiana Tech.

The former West Virginia University point guard accepted an offer this week to join head coach Michael White with the Bulldogs. It’s the third job in four years for Nichols, who made previous stops at Northern Kentucky University and at Wofford.

“He’s had a lot of success, he’s won the league two out of the last three years,” Nichols said of Coach White. “I think he does it the right way. He’s all about the players and doing the right things and he’s just somebody at this point in my coaching career that I want to be a part of and learn from.”

Louisiana Tech lost two assistant coaches during the offseason as the 37-year-old White was contacted about other head coaching jobs before ultimately remaining with the Bulldogs for what will be his fourth year at the helm. White became aware of Nichols through their mutual connection with former Bob Huggins assistant and current Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy and the two first spoke last week before solidifying the deal on Tuesday.

“It’s paid off being able to work with different guys because one thing I want to do is be a head coach and be able to share experiences,” Nichols said. “They always say there are a thousand ways to skin a cat – I feel like I’ve learned a lot already.”

Nichols’ career as a player with West Virginia helped propel him into professional basketball overseas before his stint as a graduate assistant years later landed him his first coaching gig with Northern Kentucky University.

After finding success with the Norse and helping with the transition to a Division-I program, Nichols found a new challenge at Wofford. In his first season with the Terriers, the team made the NCAA Tournament after winning their conference tournament. As a 15-seed, Nichols’ squad took on No. 2 Michigan, which pinned the former Mountaineer up against his first coach at WVU, John Beilein.

Now with three years of assistant coaching under his belt, Nichols is asked which of his Mountaineer teachers he takes after the most and his answer, perhaps predictably, is neither.

“That’s the main thing Huggs told me when I got into coaching was be yourself,” Nichols said. “I couldn’t pinpoint which one I am, I’m just myself. I’m similar to the way I played.”

Still, much of the knowledge he gained from those two men is now put to good use, as it is by other former WVU basketball players who are finding success in the coaching ranks these days. When he looks around at former teammates like Patrick Beilein, Rob Summers and Joe Mazzulla, Nichols sees young coaches who have taken what they learned in Morgantown and put it to good use.

“It just says a lot because those teams that we were on together those few years, we had a team that was very smart,” Nichols said. “Now, a lot of those guys are in coaching and it’s not a coincidence. Those guys understood the game and how to play and now it makes the transition into coaching a little easier.”

With his own team to focus on, Nichols doesn’t have the same opportunities to keep track of WVU as he may like to, but that won’t stop him from providing a good scouting report based on what he has seen.

“It’s going to be a different type of team, obviously,” Nichols said of the Mountaineers. “I think Juwan [Staten] has put himself in that position where he’s ready to be a leader like he was last year. I walked in here today and he’s putting in work on a Friday when a lot of college students would be getting ready to go downtown or whatever. He’s definitely putting the work in.”

Nichols was able to see Staten and some of the other Mountaineers up close when he came back to Morgantown for the annual Bob Huggins Fantasy Camp earlier this month. It didn’t take much arm-twisting to convince him to make the trip and return to his old stomping grounds.

“It’s funny, I’m always looking for an excuse to get back up here any way I can,” Nichols said. “[Huggins] always talks about when he crosses over into West Virginia, he gets emotional. If you haven’t spent a lot of time here or played here or been around this school, you really don’t understand.”

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