During his collegiate career, Nichols was named an all-conference player 5 seasons, twice with USC, and three times at UW (only player ever to achieve this). In 1948 he set the single game (39 points vs. Idaho) and single season scoring records for the Pacific Coast Conference. He was named a Helms Foundation All-American, and led the Huskies to the 1948 NCAA tournament by Beating Cal in a 3-game series.
Upon his retirement from professional basketball, Nichols served as the team dentist for the University of Washington and for the Seattle Sonics. Nichols has been inducted into the University of Washington Hall of Fame, the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame, and the Pacific-12 Conference Hall of Honor.