Davidson College Athletics is moving the Wildcats football program toward new leadership. Coach Paul Nichols has worked diligently, but his contract will not be renewed at the end of this year.
"Change rarely comes easily, and this step is no exception," Athletic Director Jim Murphy said. "During Paul's time as head coach, we saw alumni support grow and a strengthening of the resources and facilities available to our players. We appreciate his support of Davidson and wish Paul and Lauran great success in their next opportunity."
Nichols, a 2003 graduate of Davidson, took over the program in 2013 after assistant coaching stints at Illinois, Toledo, Marshall and Ohio State. Nichols made progress in building community support, but struggled to win in the competitive Pioneer Football League.
His work contributed to Davidson's overall NCAA Graduation Success Rate, which is tied with several other schools for second in the nation this year. Coach Nichols also guided a pair of Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members, brothers Dan and Nate Casey, recipients in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Last year, 47 student-athletes on his team earned PFL Honor Roll, and Davidson fielded a pair of PFL Offensive Freshman of the Year: Jeff Keil (2014) and Stockton McGuire (2016).
A national search for the next head football coach will begin immediately.