Report: Nichols to become Davidson coach

Former Davidson University quarterback Paul Nichols will return to his alma mater to become its new head football coach, according to a report Tuesday. said Nichols will take over the Pioneer Football League program. Tripp Merritt was fired with two games remaining in a 2-9 season. He was 31-51 in eight seasons.

Nichols is the director player personnel at Illinois and previously coached at Marshall and Toledo, including as co-defensive coordinator.

At Davidson, Nichols set school records for career passing yards (5,822), completions (465) and touchdown passes (51) and compiled a 22-6 record as a starting quarterback. As a sophomore in 2000, he led Davidson to a 10-0 record.

Nichols was named a first-team All-Pioneer League selection as a senior.

After Merritt was fired in November, Brett Hayford served as the associate head coach over the final two games, splitting them.