Bishop O’Dowd’s Reaction to New NFL Head Coach

The players’ and staff’s reaction to Hardy Nickerson’s arrival, and his impact on the football program so far


Raven Robinson, Contributor

It’s a new day at Bishop O’Dowd, and there’s a new coach in town ready to turn our football team upside down! As of the 2022 season, Bishop O’Dowd introduced a new Head Coach for the Football team. Of course, the hiring staff at O’Dowd knew they could not just hire anyone to do the job. They went above and beyond and hired former NFL Linebacker Hardy Nickerson!

This new adjustment couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Dragons finished the previous season with four wins and six losses. Things were starting to look gloomy for the Dragons, for they were without a leader for two months following their season. Still, Nickerson came in at the perfect time and saved the day when they needed it the most.

Hardy Nickerson was raised in South Central Los Angeles, commonly known as Compton. Nickerson is quite literally “Straight Outta Compton.” He attended Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles, but make no mistake, Nickerson has deep roots in the bay. Nickerson attended Cal Berkeley on a football scholarship, and his son Hardy Jr attended Bishop O’Dowd! Athletic Director Carlos Reed says, “he’s seen it from a parent and a coach’s side.” He also commented, “Having Hardy Jr coaching with his dad is also pretty amazing, too, having two former NFL players on staff.” Not only did Hardy Nickerson play in the NFL; his son played as well.

O’Dowd’s staff consists of multiple former NFL players as coaches, which makes it one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the Bay Area. Senior Sean Ramirez Pacheco believes, “After the first scrimmage, the way we were coached, the way everything fell through, it felt different. The energy was different from the coaches, everything was run different.” Senior Jakari Weeks, only in his second year playing football, adds, “His connections and knowledge of the game have helped me get better as a player.” Nickerson is elevating the program and players to heights they have never seen before.

Nickerson is known for his energy. He is a motivator and an expert at mastering details and pushing his players. Senior Jakari Weeks believes Hardy is “strict because he cares for everybody and wants us to be the best we can be on and off the field.” Athletic Director Carlos Reed beams about Nickerson’s attention to detail. Despite the challenges of being an athletic director, Carlos says Nickerson is “so detail oriented, and so down to the minute about everything. It makes my job that much easier because of it.”

Image: Jack Carlisle