By Marty Gordon
RADFORD – The legal woes for Radford University basketball coach Darris Nichols continues.
Last month, Nichols was pleaded guilty to Driving Under Influence (DUI), which resulted in his license being suspended for 12 months. He also had to pay a $2,500 fine and have an ignition interlock system installed in his car. He was also sentenced to 180 days in jail, with all but two being suspended.
Nichols was arrested after he refused to do a field sobriety test, according to police. Court documents say he blew a .25 blood alcohol level after being arrested. The legal limit in Virginia is .08.
This week, news broke Nichols failed an Interlock test and will return to court in June.
Radford University officials say they continue to monitor the situation.
Following the earlier arrest and conviction, Nichols was suspended by the university for three weeks and missed several games at the end of the season. His brother and assistant coach, Shane Nichols, served as the acting coach, including play in the Big South basketball tournament.
Darris issued an apology following the earlier legal decision. Nichols has not commented publicly about the recent interlock situation.
Ignition interlock devices are wired into your vehicles’ ignitions. When you try to start one of your cars, you will have to blow into the tube of the ignition interlock device. The device will then detect whether there is alcohol on your breath. If alcohol is present, you won’t be able to start your vehicle.
The Radford native was hired two years ago after serving as an assistant at the University of Florida. During a press conference at his hiring, RU Athletic Director Robert Lineburg praised him back home. Lineburg is also a Radford High School graduate.
Nichols played basketball at West Virginia University and climbed the ranks as an assistant coach all the way to the University of Florida in the SEC.
Nichols helped lead Radford High School to four appearances in the state Group A playoffs, averaging in double-figures every season. He coached seven seasons at Florida, helping lead the Gators to a 108-65 record, including four straight 20-win seasons and three consecutive NCAA Tournament bids.
Nichols garnered a spot in ESPN.com’s 40 Under 40 in the summer of 2020, rated #17 on the national list
that included both head coaches and assistant coaches. He was also rated the #2 assistant coach in the
SEC in a Stadium poll of coaches around the league.
A four-year letter winner at West Virginia under Bob Huggins and John Beilein, Nichols helped the
Mountaineers to a 26-11 record and a trip to the 2008 NCAA Sweet 16 his senior season.
At WVU, Nichols shined as a player in the Big East. He scored 993 career points and dished 399 assists
while shooting at a .375 clip from 3-point range. He averaged 10.7 points per game as well as 3.2 assists
per game as a senior on the way to WVU’s Sweet 16 run. He was also a member of the 2007 NIT
Championship, 2006 Sweet 16 and 2005 Elite Eight teams and finished his collegiate career as a top five
most winningest player in Mountaineer history. After graduation, he played professional overseas in the Hungarian League.