For several years, I occasionally saw an older gentleman subtly enter my place of employment and exit just as quietly, if not more so than when I initially noticed his presence. From afar, he seemed humble, if not authoritative, and this instantly caught my attention and respect.
It was something you could feel and something that I felt was earned and well deserved. At first, I never truly questioned who he was or why exactly he was there. As time passed, I learned that this gentleman was the father of two of my co-workers.
Less than a few years ago, I realized this man was a Toledo legend. He held the most coaching wins in the history of the men’s basketball program at the University of Toledo. His name graces the basketball court, and his coaching stats are impeccable. The records, stories, and his ability to mentor kids and young people alike are all stories that appear to be endless.
I cannot even begin to touch upon this side of Coach Bob Nichols’ life, nor should I. I met him briefly during a car ride to a University of Michigan football game. I served in the military for several years and used the word “sir” on a daily basis. I can honestly say, I had not said it in a long time until that car ride.
I cannot truly speak for the people who really knew him. I know very little, and I am not trying to represent otherwise. What I do know is that my co-workers, his children (two of them), speak volumes for what kind of man he was. Very few people in this world can be legendary coaches, teachers, and mentors, let alone loving fathers. He was all of those.
I know thoughtful, genuine human beings when I see them and I can only imagine the life lessons that were passed down to them from their father. This is just a small portion of Mr. Nichols that will live on forever through them. I can’t fathom the impact his life has left on others and what it will leave on our futures.
I was saddened to learn of former University of Toledo basketball coach Bob Nichols' death.
Bob and I spent considerable time together, and I always enjoyed his company while discussing many things in football and basketball. We both liked University of Michigan football.
Bob had an excellent memory and was a very caring individual.
May he rest in peace.
Thanks for story on Pete Rose
Thanks for your story on Pete Rose (April 21). What an enjoyable story.
If we had more people trying to succeed as Pete did, our society would be a lot better off.
I still have a picture of Pete in my basement.
What happened to sportsmanship?
Some examples of sportsmanship: a baseball player breaking an opponent's limb; a basketball player propelling his body on top of another player in anger; a race car driver causing another to break his back, and finally a women's basketball player giving a black eye with her elbow.
Are we going back to the age of the Romans and fulfilling the prophecy of the hunger games?