Born.... September 1, 1965 in Compton, California, U.S.
Brief.... Height 6'2" Weight 230lbs
NFL Draft..... 1987 / Round: 5 | Pick: 122
Buccaneers Career..... 1993 - 1999 | Acquired as unrestricted free agent - Pittsburgh Steelers
Ended Career By..... 2000 Unrestricted free agent - to Jacksonville
Nickerson is an American football coach and former player. He played as linebacker for four teams over 16 seasons, from 1987 to 2002, in the National Football League (NFL). Nickerson spent the prime of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The hiring of head coaches Sam Wyche and Tony Dungy allowed Nickerson to play in the middle in a 4–3 defense for both coaches; Nickerson played in a 3–4 defense with the Pittsburgh Steelers. While playing in the 4–3, Nickerson went to five Pro Bowls, and was selected for the National Football League 1990s All-Decade Team.
Nickerson is often considered one of the most popular & hardest-working Bucs ever and on the arrival of new coach Tony Dungy was a key team player to revitalise the new-Bucs under Dungy's leadership.
Nickerson attended Verbum Dei High School, a Catholic school located in Watts, Los Angeles. He earned a BA degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989.
In 2006, Nickerson became the color analyst for the Buccaneer Radio Network, teaming him with the longtime veteran play-by-play man Gene Deckerhoff.
On February 23, 2007, Nickerson was named linebackers coach of the Chicago Bears, where he coached for his former Tampa Bay position coach, Lovie Smith. On January 8, 2008, he resigned from the Bears due to health issues within his family.
On April 15, 2010, Nickerson was hired as the head football coach at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, California, a traditional powerhouse that has produced future NFL players such as Tarik Glenn, Langston Walker, Kirk Morrison, and Eric Bjornson. During Nickerson's tenure, he led the Dragons to back to back league titles and was also responsible for producing nearly 20 scholarship athletes in a period of three years. Nickerson stepped down from the head coaching position on November 18, 2013.
Nickerson was named the linebackers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under Lovie Smith on January 7, 2014. On January 23, 2016, Nickerson was hired by the San Francisco 49ers as linebackers coach under new head coach Chip Kelly. On March 10, 2016, Nickerson was hired by the University of Illinois as defensive coordinator under new head coach Lovie Smith.
NFL head coaches under whom Hardy Nickerson has served:
Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2007) and (2014–15)
1990.... NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
1993.... Pro Bowl
1996.... Pro Bowl
1997.... All-Pro 1997.... Pro Bowl
1997.... "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year
1998.... Pro Bowl
1999.... Pro Bowl
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