Louisville adds Derek Nicholson as inside linebackers coach


Louisville football announced the addition of Derek Nicholson as the team's inside linebackers coach Jan. 21. 

Nicholson returns to Louisville after coaching the outside linebackers and defensive ends on a defense that ranked fifth in the country in total defense, led the nation in interceptions and were ninth in total sacks and fourth in rush defense in 2014. Nicholson spent the previous four seasons at Southern Mississippi as the defensive line and linebackers coach, along with being the co-defensive coordinator. 

"I'd like to thank Scott Satterfield, Bryan Brown, Cort Dennison and the rest of the Louisville football program for this amazing opportunity," Nicholson said. "My family and I are extremely excited to be back at Louisville and in the Atlantic Coast Conference. I look forward to working with the coaching staff and coaching the inside linebackers. There is something special brewing in Louisville and I'm thrilled to be a part of it."

The Winston-Salem native helped coach a defense that led Conference USA and finished 18th in the country in rushing defense. The Golden Eagles finished third in the league and played in the Armed Forces Bowl. Linebacker Hayes Maple was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team after compiling 31 tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss.

During his time as the linebackers coach in 2018, Southern Miss ranked third in nation in total defense, sixth in rushing defense, 11th in passing defense and 19th in scoring defense. 

Before coaching at Southern Miss, Nicholson spent one season coaching the defensive line at Alcorn State. The team finished fourth in the country in sacks and fifth in tackles for a loss in his lone season.

Prior to his one season at Louisville, Nicholson coached one year at Akron as its linebackers coach. 

Nicholson played linebacker at Florida State, finishing with 207 tackles and 25.5 tackles for a loss. He was named to the Butkus Award and Chuck Bednarik Watch Lists in 2008.