In just five years, David Nichols built North Hall’s wrestling program into one of the most successful in the state.
On Friday, he announced plans to step down from the program, but will remain at the school as a teacher and football coach.
Nichols shared his plans with wrestlers on Friday. The announcement was made public later in the day in a press release by Hall County schools athletics director Stan Lewis.
The 37-year-old coach said his decision was made due to time constraints and wanting to spend more time with his family.
Nichols will remain at North Hall where he’s associate head football coach and works primarily with the defensive backs.
“I have been coaching football and wrestling back to back every year for more than a decade,” said Nichols. “It’s beneficial for my family to focus on one.”
However, his impact in wrestling will have be felt for many years to come.
Since the 2017 season, Nichols had nine wrestlers win individual state championships, 12 total state champions.
Jacob Pedraza leaves in 2021 as a three-time state champion, while Matthew Glenn won state titles twice in his career.
“Coach Nichols is a great man and always pushed us to be better people,” said Damon Campbell, who won the 145-pound state title for North Hall this season. “I consider him one of my best friends.”
North Hall won two Class 3A team state championships under Nichols (2018 and 2020). This season, North Hall had four individual state champions, crowned earlier this month in Macon.
The Trojans also won the duals state title in 2021, but had it vacated Feb. 19 for using an ineligible athlete.
According to GHSA archives, it’s only the second time a team state championship was vacated (1987 Rockdale County boys basketball).
Nichols got into coaching wrestling as a community coach at Lumpkin County High when he was 18. Since college, he had two stints working at Commerce, one year at Habersham Central and one year as head coach at Parkview High.
In 2016, Nichols came to North Hall and was assistant wrestling coach to Stuart Cunningham.
Nichols said that the cohesiveness between the adminstration and community support made North Hall unique and primed for success in wrestling.
“North Hall has such a supportive system and the parents go above and beyond to support the kids and make it the best experience possible,” Nichols said. “Our adminstration, all the way from the county level with Stan Lewis to our principal and athletic director are remarkable. Our athletic director Sam Borg is always in it with you and does whatever he can to make it best for the kids.”