A 1939 graduate from Bellaire High, Nick’s athletic ability
and determination enabled him to get a scholarship at the University
of Cincinnati. Nick was captain of his football team in 1942 and
had all American Mention, he graduated in 1943. Following his graduation
in 1943, Nick was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but this had
to wait as he enlisted into the Navy where he was a 90 day wonder
at Mid Shipmen School and was commissioned as an officer at 22 years
old at Northwestern. Nick was in the amphibious service for 3 years
in WWII, landing ships in Normandy D-Day plus 6 hours.
In 1946, Nick joined the Steelers. He was
5’ 9” and 200 lbs. when he earned the starting guard position
at Pittsburgh. The Chicago Bears said he was the “toughest guard”
we met all season. Injuries forced him to retire from playing in 1948.
His coach, Jock Sutherland, once said, “Someday, this young
man will be a great coach”.
Nick accepted the Head Coach job at Central Catholic High School in
Pittsburgh, where he produced several all Americans along with undefeated
seasons during his 4 years there. After completing his Masters Degree
from Michigan State, Nick worked on his Doctorate at the University
of Pittsburgh while there. He then moved onto Rensselar Polytechnical
Institute, where after a year there, Nick was offered a line coaching
job with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he began his Pro Coaching
Career. He spent 5 years with Pittsburgh, then joined the Green Bay
Packers for a year.
In 1959, the Eagles called and Nick joined
them as assistant coach as over all defensive and running backs game.
In 1960, Philadelphia won the World Championship (Super Bowl). In
1961, Nick became Head Coach for 3 years. At the end of the 1963 season,
the Eagles ownership changed and Nick moved onto the Cleveland
Browns. He was with them when Cleveland won the 1964 Championship
and continued with Cleveland and became Head Coach of the Browns in
By 1975, Commissioner Pete Rozelle called Nick and
offered him the Assistant Supervisor of Officials in the League
office. Nick spent 26 years with the League office as full and part
time until he retired at 80 years old. Nick has been inducted into
6 “Hall of Fames”, including the initial Hall of Fame
class at the University of Cincinnati, Dapper Dan Sports and the
West Penn Hall of Fame.
Nick was extremely happy doing what he loved; he thrived on mental
challenges, the strategy of coaching football and working with the
The “Coach” was well respected in the NFL as an astute
student of the game and an expert technician. He completed 50 years
in the NFL, a remarkable accomplishment. He completed 3 years as
a player, 21 years as a coach and 26 years as supervisor of officials.
Nick’s greatest joy was the true love of his life, his wife
of 56 years, Teresa. He loved his family and felt truly blessed
to have his three children. He constantly taught, supported and
showed his love to his children and 3 grandchildren. A true Hero
for his family.