|Illinois Fighting Illini|
|Date of birth:||September 1, 1965|
|Place of birth:||Compton, California|
|NFL draft:||1987 / Round: 5 / Pick: 122|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Hardy Otto Nickerson (born September 1, 1965) is a former American football linebacker who played 16 seasons for four teams from 1987 to 2002 in the National Football League. He attended Verbum Dei High School, a Catholic school located in Watts, California. He earned a BA degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989. Nickerson spent the prime of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The hiring of head coaches Sam Wyche and Tony Dungy allowed Nickerson to play in the middle in both coaches' 4-3 defensive alignment (Nickerson played the 3-4 in Pittsburgh). While playing in the 4–3, Nickerson went to five Pro Bowls, resulting in him joining the NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team.
In 2006, Nickerson became the color analyst for the Buccaneer Radio Network, teaming him with the longtime veteran play-by-play man Gene Deckerhoff. On February 23, 2007, he was named linebackers coach of the Chicago Bears, where he coached for his former Tampa Bay position coach, Lovie Smith. On January 8, 2008, he resigned from the Bears due to health issues within his family.
On April 15, 2010, Nickerson was hired as the head football coach at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, California, a traditional powerhouse that has produced future NFL players such as Tarik Glenn, Langston Walker, Kirk Morrison, and Eric Bjornson. During Nickerson's tenure, he led the Dragons to back to back league titles and was also responsible for producing nearly twenty scholarship athletes in a period of three years. Nickerson stepped down from the head coaching position on November 18, 2013.
NFL head coaches under whom Hardy Nickerson has served:
- Hardy Nickerson NFL Football Statistics | Pro-Football-Reference.com
- Bishop O'Dowd High hires ex-NFL star Hardy Nickerson as its new football coach – Inside Bay Area
- Hardy Nickerson to join Buccaneers as assistant coaching linebackers – Bucs Nation
- 49ers hire Hardy Nickerson as linebackers coach
- NICKERSON JOINS ILLINOIS STAFF AS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
- "Hardy Nickerson Joins Illini Football as Defensive Coordinator – The Illini Room". The Illini Room. Retrieved 2016-03-17.