Hardy Nickerson Returns To Coach LBs

January 7th, 2014

No surprise here. Bucs icon Hardy Nickerson said on WDAE-AM 620 last month that he wanted out of coaching high school football in California and back into the big time.

Nickerson last coached in the NFL for, you guessed it, Lovie Smith in Chicago in 2007. Back in 2006, he was an analyst on the Buccaneers Radio Network.

Tampa Bay Times beat scribe Rick Stroud reported news of Nickerson’s return tonight.

How could Joe not embrace this hire. Nickerson, 48, was a perennial Pro Bowler, a monster in the middle. He successfully mentored Derrick Brooks and other Bucs defensive icons, and he’s a fun guy.

Welcome back, Hardy. Joe hopes your next milestone is in the Bucs Ring of Honor.

90 Responses to “Hardy Nickerson Returns To Coach LBs”

  1. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Okay, this might not have surprised Joe, but I am pleasantly surprised. This gets me excited for the LBs.

  2. Oahubuc Says:

    Tell you what: I’m drinking so much Koolaid right now my gut’s going to burst.

  3. Will Says:

    Getting the band back together!

  4. Kevin Says:

    Holy Sh!* this is getting me excited. Tedford sounds like the kind of OC we need and this is just icing on the cake. This is the best the Glaziers have done since Gruden. Most excited I’ve ever been in an offseason. Wish I could fast forward to August-Sept

  5. Mumbles Says:

    This is beginning to look like the movie, The Expendables!

  6. Gianluca Says:

    Wow go bucs!

  7. Architek Says:

    Oh ok so they are really trying bring back respect and the real BUC ball days!

  8. 1Gr8Buc Says:

    Wow, this defense is going to be scary good.

  9. Andrew 1 Says:

    I remember seeing him as a sideline reporter in the NFL Europe league back when that existed, it of threw me off for a second. I think it’s a good addition, but any idea why he only coached for 1 season as lb coach?

  10. Buc1987 Says:

    Loving it!

  11. PRBucFan Says:

    Andrew 1

    “In 2006, Nickerson served as the Bucs’ analyst on their radio network with play-by-play man Gene Deckerhoff. He left the next season to coach linebackers for Smith and the Bears. But health issues within his family forced him to re-sign after only one season.”

  12. Matt Says:

    @Andrew 1

    according to wikipedia he resigned after 1 year due to health reasons in his family

  13. Matt Says:

    what he said haha

  14. Andrew 1 Says:

    Oh, well that’s a perfectly understandable reason for leaving. Thanks for the info.

  15. Leon Says:


  16. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I can’t wait to see all this put together. It’s going to be a long, but fun, offseason.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    OK….not being a wet blanket here because I love Hardy….but, I’m not sophisticated enough to know if someone who has been away from the NFL for some time has missed out on new techniques etc or is it like riding a bicycle….if you know how…you know how?

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Heard a rumor that Chris Kiffin is being considered for a position. Chris is the son of Monte Kiffin and once worked for the Bucs as a quality control intern. He also gained experience working with the defensive line during off-season OTAs and mini-camps.

    He is currently the defensive line coach for ole miss, and doubles as Recruiting Coordinator For Defense.

  19. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Tampabaybucfan, answer this. Lovie spent a year out of football. Do you think he has missed out? There’s your answer. I think it depends on how that off time is used.

  20. PRBucFan Says:

    He’s been a HC for a California team these past 4 years.

    He just left the job in November, so he’s been involved in football TBBF

    Or did you mean NFL wise?

  21. Jon Says:

    I heard he quit last time because it was to hard. I worry on this one. LVD is our best player period, and this guy has really one half of one season of experience. Hope hardy’s improved

  22. Jon Says:

    Btw what do you expect wiki to say? He thought the nfl coaches world was too difficult? Maybe he did, just a rumor then I heard.

  23. Max Says:

    He coached one year, they went 7-9.

    Sorry but I’m not excited.

  24. PRBucFan Says:

    I didn’t get my info from wiki 😉 multiple sources say the same thing

  25. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Wow, good job Glazers, that is how you rejuvenate the fanbase to buy some tickets! Really looking forward to seeing what Hardy can do with Foster, David, and whoever the Bucs pick for OLB.

    Something to think about – Hardy Jr. just finished his freshman year playing MLB at Cal. Hmmmmmm…

  26. PRBucFan Says:

    4 seasons not 1

    “Nickerson, 48, stepped down in November as head football coach at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, Calif. During his four seasons he compiled 29-17 record.”

    oh and I got my info on why he only lasted one season with Lovie from Rick Stroud

  27. Mumbles Says:

    Andrew Hayes-Stoker/FIU is WR coach. Never heard of him!

  28. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ PR & Bonzai…

    I’m not being critical of the hire…..I really just don’t know the answer. I know he’s been in coaching for the last few years….I think High School…..
    And I don’t think a head coach being out of football for one year is the same thing. So don’t be a wise-ass.
    Here is the question:
    Does a position coach miss anything if they are away from coaching that position for an extended period of time….lets say 7 or 8 years…..or does it make no difference?

  29. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    We’re Gettin the Band Back Together

    Dennis Hopper Hardy Nickerson Nike Commercial

  30. PRBucFan Says:

    Oh your talking about his year in the NFL? lol my bad

    But surprise surprise people aren’t excited ahahaha

    It’s like they expect us to get a hall of fame head coach at every coaching position on the team, even for assistants, which by the way is what Hardy is.

  31. PRBucFan Says:

    “He just left the job in November, so he’s been involved in football TBBF

    Or did you mean NFL wise?”

    I was asking you what you meant lol

    And to answer your question he’s just an assistant LB coach so I don’t think it will do anything but help.

  32. Matt Says:

    I don’t know, I think maybe we should of stuck with all the Rutgers assistants. NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Andrew 1 Says:

    Just read a report that Devin Hester is a free agent an unlikely to return to the bears. If true, he’s as good as red and pewter.

  34. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    I don’t know why, I’m elated, ecstatic, exultant, jubilant, joyful, joyous, thrilled, over the moon…Oo still doing the Jig from last nite my bad.

  35. McBuc Says:

    Hardy brought the winning attitude to Tampa as a player. Maybe he will as a coach too. Any of you old enough know this to be true.

  36. Orca Says:

    I would just like to point out that if Greg Schiano had hired a coach with as little NFL coaching experience (and 4 years as a high school coach), people would be going nuts over this selection. I like Hardy, and I get that people are excited about his history with the Bucs, but this is really a leap of faith. I’m willing to trust Lovie on it though.

  37. Macabee Says:

    Hail, hail, the gang’s all here. What the heck do we care. What the heck do we care. Hail, hail, the gang’s all here. What the heck do we care now! lol

  38. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ PR

    I just don’t know enough about NFL coaching, in particular assistant coaching, to know if it matters at all.

    Like I said…just asking. I’m all for it….if Leroy were alive, I’d want him for the D-line.

  39. PRBucFan Says:


    He’s not even the actual positions coach, jeebus lol.

    So dramatic.

    We don;t even hear the names of half of the assistants on NFL teams.

    We are only hearing about him cause he’s Hardy and it’s the Bucs lol

  40. PRBucFan Says:

    That’s not directed to you TBBF

  41. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ PR

    OK…if he is the assistant LB coach, who is the Linebacker Coach?

  42. BucsQcCity Says:

    I’m in for Nickerson but I hope Lovie won’t take lesser competent old buc coach over a better non old buc coach.

    I trust his judgement for now. Bucs needs to rebuild the branding of the club and reaching out to old bucs is a clever move imo.

  43. PRBucFan Says:

    And to answer you I doubt he’s forgotten how to play the position he was dominant in for so many years.

    The position and technique remains the same.

    I don’t think Brooks is any less qualified to come in here to coach cause he’s been out.

  44. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ PR

    I think you may be incorrect…I think Hardy is the position coach and that’s fine with me…..as I have been in the past, I always reserve judgement (what other choice do we really have)
    I trust Lovie for now and believe he knows what he’s doing.

    My reason for asking the question is that I don’t know….and I’m not getting a serious answer. Just a bunch of wise-ass cracks like hiring Rutgers coaches and Lovie being unqualified because he’s been out a year.
    If there is anyone who actually knows the answer…here’s the question again:
    Does a position coach miss anything if they are away from coaching that position for an extended period of time….lets say 7 or 8 years…..or does it make no difference?

  45. PRBucFan Says:

    I am not incorrect

    I assure you

    Every credible but beat write as I have made a twitter list says assistant.

  46. PRBucFan Says:

    Yea Macabee I know and thanks for linking it for him as I don’t link stories anymore in fear of upsetting Joe lol

  47. Andrew 1 Says:

    Lovie certainly doesn’t think so, otherwise he wouldn’t have hired him.

  48. Luther Says:

    It amazes me how people loved Brian Cox but have issues with Hardy Nickerson. Both guys were very emotional on the field and we can all admit that if you are walking in a dark alley, you want one of them by your side.

    Difference is that Hardy started this franchise on a winning track that we long for and Brian Cox made more than his share of bone headed plays on the field.

    Without knowing as much as either of them, I will trust that Lovie knows what good coaches look like.

  49. PRBucFan Says:

    I don’t think there’s a simple answer for that, I think it depends the person.

    IMO I do not think it matters in the least for any man who spent their life playing the position and ends at a hall of fame level.

    I don’t believe it matters, not for men like that

  50. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Make you wonder if Mike Singletary( Frazier’s guy) is the actually linebackers coach, and Hardy’s the assistant.

  51. Macabee Says:

    No! No! PRBuc,

    I’m saying he’s right. Nickerson is not an assistant LB coach, he is an assistant coach coaching LBs. There’s a difference!

  52. PRBucFan Says:

    He’s saying he’s the LB Coach lol

    Assistant coach, assistant LB, that’s what I’m saying.

    He’s not THE LB Coach

  53. Andrew 1 Says:

    Ight now I’m confused lol

  54. PRBucFan Says:

    Again most fans never hear the names of assistant coaches in the NFL there’s so many.

    We hear the position coaches, this is different because of who he is.

    I quoted that very article earlier.

    My whole point was whether he’s an assistant coach or assistant coach to LB’s, he’s not the actual positions coach for the LB’s

  55. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    I tell you, If we have both Singletary & Nickerson..look out.

  56. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Macabee

    That’s what I understand….he is the “Linebackers Coach”….not an Assistant Linebackers Coach…..I don’t think the Bucs go that deep with their staff.
    For example….they had an Assistant Special Teams Coach”

    I know Hardy is an Assistant Coach just like all of them are except the HC.

    So here’s the question ….If he’s not the Linebackers Coach who is….and if he’s an Assistant Linebackers Coach, does that mean they hired him before they hired the position coach?

  57. PRBucFan Says:


    lol, we’ll see whose right and whose wrong sooner or laters.

    But it has not been reported yet that he himself is the positions coach for the LB’s.

    I’m missing the Tiki & Ronde: A football Life show debating this lol.

    Talk to you guys a little later

  58. Buck Rogers Says:

    Nickerson is back! PUMPED

  59. UnderDog Lefty Says:

    Great move. Now how about bringing back Warrick Dunn to tutor Martin and Doug Williams to tutor Glennon? Please don’t forget that the offensive side of the ball needs some Buccaneer icons of the past too Lovie!

  60. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This just In

    “Coach Lovie Smith is not considering Myron Lewis as a possible free agent acquisition for Bucs” Mark Dominick expresses disappointment.

  61. PRBucFan Says:

    A positions coach is not an assistant coach he’s a positions coach lol.

    Any other positions coach they have come out and hired they have said
    Tim Spencer is RB Coach, Marcus Arroyo will be QB Coach, and so on.

    Not Tim Spencer will be an assistant RB coach, Marcus Arroyo will be the assistant QB coach. lol

    Unless what your saying is our Assistant will be our positions coach in terms of Line Backing?

    Either way Lovie knows what he’s doing. Tiring having people question every little thing he does.

    Again, i’m done here, talk to y’all later

  62. Jon Says:

    Cox and hardy are two different coaches. One has coached in the league for years, one stepped down for years. That’s all. Time will tell

  63. Macabee Says:

    I could clear this up in a minute, but Joe will kill me if I tell you how or where to do it. Below is an excerpt from somewhere else that explains it. I’m leaving it alone now! lol

    * an earlier version said Nickerson would be the assistant linebackers coach, but Rick Stroud’s tweet is phrased saying he’s an assistant who will coach linebackers.

  64. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Macabee

    Wow….that really clears it up for me!!!

    Who’s on first?

  65. DallasBuc Says:

    Assistant regional manager…assistant to the regional manager!

  66. Macabee Says:

    This somewhat confusing, but doesn’t matter. Hardy is on the team! I will go out on a limb and say that I think Lovie is playing semantic word games in this case because he has something or someone else in mind for a similar role. Time will tell if my intuition is correct.

  67. DallasBuc Says:

    Wow…I can’t believe this is an actual arguement. Nickerson is the LB coach. All coaches on this staff or any other staff are assistants to the HC. Simple stuff guys!

  68. PRBucFan Says:

    I don’t agree

    We’ll see if we have a positions coach hired in due time.

  69. RealityCheck Says:

    @ Max “He coached one year, they went 7-9. Sorry but I’m not excited.”

    Did you really just use the TEAM’S record for the one year he coached in Chicago to justify your lack of excitement. LOL. Yes, no other variables excited that season. If they had a better coach than Hardy, they totally would have been Superbowl bound.

    A PRO at the LB position is going to coach and mentor our solid young core of LBs. Simply wanting to live up to what he achieved will motivate David and others to play even better.

  70. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Hardy Nickerson! Good hire! The team keeps getting better.

  71. DallasBuc Says:

    Yeah PR I think you will agree soon that you spent too long trying to convince us he isn’t the LB position coach with your assistant to the regional manager bit. Funny though!
    At least hopefully we can agree over our excitement about having Hardware here on this staff helping coach our LBs regardless of the title or level of involvement.
    Go Bucs!

  72. Buc1987 Says:

    RealityCheck…lol I was going to tackle that hours ago when Max posted it. I just shrugged and shook my head. I figured someone would say something about that it so I didn’t bother. Thanks for saving me the time.

  73. Buc1987 Says:

    Raheem the Dream was an assistant DB coach as well.

  74. Jacko101 Says:

    Welcome Back Home Hardy

  75. PRBucFan Says:

    I was speaking to one specific person actually. (TBBF)

    The fact that he’s only an assistant remains true and that is all I was arguing.

    Now if he’s an assistant that will ultimately be the positions coach for the LB’s that is a different story.

    You’ll notice when they spoke about any of our other position coach hires or possible ones the word assistant was not mentioned.

    I don’t see how that logic is so hard to follow lol.

    But whatever, I honestly don’t care anymore.

  76. BucAttack Says:

    Guarantee he is not an “assistant LB coach.” No need to have an assistant LB coach when you coach in a 4-3 scheme. You only have 3 players to coach. If you were in a 3-4 scheme I could see having an assistant LB coach. Just like a secondary coach has an assistant or a 4-3 dline coach having am assistant

  77. Eric Says:

    Great news. Love Hardy.

    Lovie is making all the right moves so far and saying all the right things.

    It’s early of course but I’m very impressed. This guy can bring us another championship, I can feel it in my bones.

  78. PRBucFan Says:

    “It seems Hardy Nickerson is an assistant coaching linebackers per Stroud’s tweet. Subtle difference, not clear what he’ll do exactly”

    ^^^^^ That is all I was trying to say lmao

    Now if Lovie decides not to officially hire a positions coach for LB’s that’s on him.

    But clearly the above is not the norm ahahaha.

    That’s the last comment i’m going to have on this.
    I want him as the LB Coach, so it’s whatevs, could careless either way

  79. Oahubuc Says:

    Do you think we’ll be worse than the past five years? I don’t. Bring on the legends with skin in the game.

  80. Buc1987 Says:

    Ya know PRB…your becoming the Thread King. Your all over these pages lately. Left and right. Not that I mind at all, it’s just that I thought I was the blabber mouth of jbf. Your the new champ. Congrats!

  81. Mumbles Says:

    Distinction without a difference!

  82. PRBucFan Says:

    That is true Mumbles if indeed he becomes the positions coach lol 😉

  83. DallasBuc Says:

    Are you kidding me?…the way you have now couched your arguement you can still be right if he is indeed the position coach of the LBs! What a long way to go but if you are never wrong it must seem worth it somehow. Enjoy your time off!

  84. SAMCRO Says:

    I’d like Lovie to hire Bostad, Byner, and Cox again.

  85. Architek Says:

    Go to bed bro…Lets just appreciate the reunion of legitimacy!!!

  86. Tampamac Says:

    Per PFT, Tony Sparano will be coming on board presumably as O-line coach.. Definitely liking this staff being assembled!

  87. adam from ny Says:

    lets bring in ronde as db coach — yesss!!

    adam from ny

  88. Tee from TB Says:

    I’m as excited as the next Bucs fan, but let’s put it all in perspective. Lovie has to hire a staff which consist of every position and some assistants to those positions so he can’t knock it out of the park with all of them and make all of us happy. I think Hardy is a great pickup because of the experience at the position. But let’s just let the man get his staff in and go to work and see the outcome. Typically you don’t even know the rest of the staff outside of the HC, OC, DC, and rarely STC so just take the insight and wait and see. We are going to be crying over who he hires as the team nutritionist and the quality control assistant at this rate lol. Have a nice day!

  89. Kevin Says:

    Dominik really dug us in a hole with our receivers and O-Linemen and Revis. What happens when we have to sign David, McCoy, Banks. I can see Hester coming and maybe a Vet QB like Josh McCown. Are we gonna have the space to pay all this over the next 4 seasons?

  90. PRBucFan Says:

    Yes sir