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Hardy Nickerson
Linebackers Coach

Biography

3rd NFL Season, 2nd with Buccaneers

Hardy Nickerson begins his second season as linebackers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015.

Working with the linebackers in 2014, Nickerson helped Danny Lansanah to a career year. In his first season as the primary starter, Lansanah recorded 79 tackles (third-most on the team) while adding three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. He is one of only two linebackers in team history to have multiple interceptions for touchdowns in the same season. His two defensive return touchdowns tide for the second-most in the NFL last year, while he his three interceptions were the second-most by a linebacker. Lansanah also became the first player in Buccaneers history to start at all three linebacker positions in the same season.

In addition to working with Lansanah, Nickerson coached Lavonte David, who finished the season with the second-most solo tackles in the NFL (101) and the third-most total tackles (146), while also ranking third in forced fumbles (4) and seventh in tackles for loss (17).

Nickerson previously worked with Head Coach Lovie Smith in Chicago (2007) as the Bears linebackers coach, helping linebacker Lance Briggs make the Pro Bowl that season. Prior to joining the Bears’ coaching staff, Nickerson worked as the color analyst for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Radio Network in 2006. He also participated in the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program with the Bears during training camp in 2004. Additionally, Nickerson spent four seasons (2010-13) as the head coach at Bishop O’Dowd High School (Oakland, California).

A fifth-round draft pick (122nd overall) by the Steelers in the 1987 NFL Draft, Nickerson played for Pittsburgh (1987-92), Tampa Bay (1993-99), Jacksonville (2000-01) and Green Bay (2002). He was a second-team selection to the NFL 1990s All-Decade team. During his 16-year playing career, Nickerson started 200 of 225 career games played, totaling 1,867 tackles, 21 sacks and 12 interceptions.

While playing for Tampa Bay, Nickerson was chosen as the NFLPA Linebacker of the Year, earned four AP All-Pro selections and five Pro Bowl berths. Nickerson experienced his most success playing under then-Buccaneers linebackers coach Lovie Smith from 1996-99, earning a Pro Bowl berth in all four seasons, averaging 137 tackles per season, while adding eight forced fumbles, 5.5 sacks, five fumble recoveries and four interceptions. Nickerson was also chosen as the recipient of the NFL’s Byron “Whizzer” White Award, given annually to one NFL player who exhibits excellence both on the field and in the community.

A three-time team MVP during his collegiate career at the University of California (1983-86), Nickerson tallied 501 tackles, eight interceptions and 4.5 sacks. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and was inducted into the University’s Hall of Fame in 2004.

Born in Compton, California, Nickerson lettered in track and football at Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles. He and his wife, Amy, have three children: daughter Ashleigh and twins – son, Hardy, and daughter, Haleigh.


NICKERSON AT A GLANCE

YEARS                                                                                                                POSITION

1983-86                                                                                                     California, Player

1987-92                                                                                      Pittsburgh Steelers, Player

1993-99                                                                             Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Player

2000-01                                                                                  Jacksonville Jaguars, Player

2002                                                                                          Green Bay Packers, Player

2007                                                                             Chicago Bears, Linebackers Coach

2010-13                                                            Bishop O’Dowd High School, Head Coach

2014-                                                            Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Linebackers Coach

3rd NFL Season, 2nd with Buccaneers

Hardy Nickerson begins his second season as linebackers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015.

Working with the linebackers in 2014, Nickerson helped Danny Lansanah to a career year. In his first season as the primary starter, Lansanah recorded 79 tackles (third-most on the team) while adding three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. He is one of only two linebackers in team history to have multiple interceptions for touchdowns in the same season. His two defensive return touchdowns tide for the second-most in the NFL last year, while he his three interceptions were the second-most by a linebacker. Lansanah also became the first player in Buccaneers history to start at all three linebacker positions in the same season.

In addition to working with Lansanah, Nickerson coached Lavonte David, who finished the season with the second-most solo tackles in the NFL (101) and the third-most total tackles (146), while also ranking third in forced fumbles (4) and seventh in tackles for loss (17).

Nickerson previously worked with Head Coach Lovie Smith in Chicago (2007) as the Bears linebackers coach, helping linebacker Lance Briggs make the Pro Bowl that season. Prior to joining the Bears’ coaching staff, Nickerson worked as the color analyst for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Radio Network in 2006. He also participated in the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program with the Bears during training camp in 2004. Additionally, Nickerson spent four seasons (2010-13) as the head coach at Bishop O’Dowd High School (Oakland, California).

A fifth-round draft pick (122nd overall) by the Steelers in the 1987 NFL Draft, Nickerson played for Pittsburgh (1987-92), Tampa Bay (1993-99), Jacksonville (2000-01) and Green Bay (2002). He was a second-team selection to the NFL 1990s All-Decade team. During his 16-year playing career, Nickerson started 200 of 225 career games played, totaling 1,867 tackles, 21 sacks and 12 interceptions.

While playing for Tampa Bay, Nickerson was chosen as the NFLPA Linebacker of the Year, earned four AP All-Pro selections and five Pro Bowl berths. Nickerson experienced his most success playing under then-Buccaneers linebackers coach Lovie Smith from 1996-99, earning a Pro Bowl berth in all four seasons, averaging 137 tackles per season, while adding eight forced fumbles, 5.5 sacks, five fumble recoveries and four interceptions. Nickerson was also chosen as the recipient of the NFL’s Byron “Whizzer” White Award, given annually to one NFL player who exhibits excellence both on the field and in the community.

A three-time team MVP during his collegiate career at the University of California (1983-86), Nickerson tallied 501 tackles, eight interceptions and 4.5 sacks. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and was inducted into the University’s Hall of Fame in 2004.

Born in Compton, California, Nickerson lettered in track and football at Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles. He and his wife, Amy, have three children: daughter Ashleigh and twins – son, Hardy, and daughter, Haleigh.


NICKERSON AT A GLANCE

YEARS                                                                                                                POSITION

1983-86                                                                                                     California, Player

1987-92                                                                                      Pittsburgh Steelers, Player

1993-99                                                                             Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Player

2000-01                                                                                  Jacksonville Jaguars, Player

2002                                                                                          Green Bay Packers, Player

2007                                                                             Chicago Bears, Linebackers Coach

2010-13                                                            Bishop O’Dowd High School, Head Coach

2014-                                                            Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Linebackers Coach