Rice University Owls football player John Nichols
Black and white photograph of Rice University Owls football player John Nichols, headlining his achievement into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. Caption reads: October 13, 1988, was a special day to remember in the life of Johnny Nichols. It was his 47th birthday (born at St. Joseph’s in Houston in 1941), and the night he was inducted into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame! Now in his 21st year as a successful attorney in Houston, John is a partner in the firm of Nichols & Cole and specializes in family law, personal injury law, and civil trial law. He got his law degree from UH Law School in 1967, and has been honored as one of the best family lawyers in the country by Best Lawyers in America, 1st & 2nd editions. He began his career as a trial lawyer with Fulbright & Jaworski before his partnership with Warren Cole. Our interest, however is his sports deeds while at Rice Owl gridder from 1959 through that memorable 1963 campaign in the Jess Neely era at Rice, with Joe Davis his line coach. A treasured memory of the time? Johnny loves to tell it. “Our TCE game at Forth Worth was delayed until a week after the regular season ended because of the Kennedy assassination. By then I’d been given a bunch of honors - - all-SWC guard, team co-captain, an invitation to the North-South all-star game, and the Rice MVP George Martin Award. Early on at TCU their center knocked the livin’ hell out of me on a fierce block. As I staggered off the field, ol’ Joe Davis grumbled to me ‘I guess that guy didn’t read all about you, did he?,’” Johnny recalls. Now, as he looks back, Nichols says how much it meant to him to play with teammates and under coaches of such ‘class’ status like Neely and his staff, and with guys like Robert Johnston (a Rhodes Scholar), the King brothers Rufus and Boyd, and so many more. As befitting a man who practices in family law, Johnny is proud of his supportive parents, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Nichols (his father was an owner in the construction chemicals field before retiring) of Galena Park. His wife is the former Deena K. Counts, and they have four children in Robyn (21), a model; Jack (20, a student at UT Austin); John, Jr. (19, a student at UH) and Travis (16). Johnny showed his leadership early when he was grid co-captain and student council president before graduating from Galena Park High. He was a natural for Rice as a talented athlete with a flair for leadership.
Rice Athletic Hall of Fame
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/64012
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