Nichols Ranked No. 47 In Big Sky History - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Nichols Ranked No. 47 In Big Sky History

Posted: Updated:
© EWU Athletics © EWU Athletics
CHENEY, Wash. -

Injuries are something new for the athlete who ranks 47th on the Big Sky's list of "50 Greatest Athletes''.
Matt Nichols never missed a practice or a game during a storied career at Eastern Washington, a tenure that saw him play in 47 contests, throw for a Big Sky record 12,616 career yards and 96 touchdowns.
Unfortunately, the injury bug has gripped Nichols over the past year as he worked to solidify himself as the Edmonton Eskimos starting quarterback in the Canadian Football League.
First, there was a gruesome ankle injury in the Eskimos' playoff loss last November. Healthy and recharged this summer, his 2013 season ended in June when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a preseason game.
"I've only had two injuries, but it seems like I've been injured forever,'' Nichols said. "It's the first time I've missed a season, or missed any time in my whole life. It's not too bad though. It's not a career-ending injury. You've seen people come back even stronger. I'm only 26 and I've had four years of pro experience. I'm a veteran guy at a relatively young age. I feel like I've got 10-plus years of football left in me.''
It's that kind of attitude that helped Nichols endure the ups-and-downs of his freshman campaign in 2006, when as a freshman he started all 11 games during a 3-8 season that saw him throw eight touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
Things got better in 2007, when as a sophomore he guided the Eagles to a 9-4 season, and a trip to the national quarterfinals. He threw for 3,744 yards and 34 touchdowns with just nine interceptions and earned the first of two Big Sky Offensive MVPs.
Another 3,000-plus yard season followed in 2008, and in 2009 as a senior, Nichols garnered Big Sky Offensive MVP honors again when he threw for 3,830 yards with 33 touchdowns and just six interceptions. The Eagles earned a playoff bid, and Nichols finished fourth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award.
"I enjoyed playing in the Big Sky,'' Nichols said. "It was a battle week after week. I think it's gotten even better from my time to now. It was exciting to be a part of.''
Nichols is the Big Sky's all-time leader in pass attempts in a game (76), pass attempts in a career (1,608), career passing yards (12,616), and total offense (13,308). His 96 career touchdown passes rank second in league history. Unlike some league quarterbacks who played in the 80s and 90s, Nichols' playoff stats counted toward his career numbers.
"It's pretty cool,'' Nichols said of being named to the "50 Greatest." "Obviously the conference has a lot of history and many extremely good players. I've been around a lot of them, and a lot of them continued their playing careers. To be on a list with good players throughout history is pretty cool.''
Nichols still keeps close ties to Eastern Washington. He and his wife Ali live in Spokane during the off-season.
"I go out there and throw, and talk to Coach Beau Baldwin,'' Nichols said. "I play in the EWU golf tournament and those types of things. Usually when our season gets over, I'll try to catch a game or two. I'm hoping to see a couple this year.''

Courtesy: Jon Kasper - Big Sky Conference

  • College

    • Photo: Gonzaga Athletics

      Gonzaga's Bies & Legumina named to All-WCC First Team

      The First Team honors were the first all-conference awards of any kind for both Bies and Legumina, while redshirt freshman Ernie Yake was named to the All-WCC Second Team.

    • Photo: EWU Athletics

      Eagles announce 2018 soccer schedule

      The Eagles racked up a program-best 16-6-1 overall record with a 7-1-1 mark in conference play a year ago to win their first regular season championship title since 2004.

    • Photo: Whitworth Athletics

      Joial Griffith named as Whitworth's new women's basketball coach

      Whitworth is coming off a 10-15 record in 2017-18.  Griffith takes over for Higgs, who won 361 games in 24 years leading the Pirates and ranked 48th in total victories among active Division III coaches at the time of her retirement.

    • Photo: Washington State Athletics

      Cougars fall 4-2 at No. 3 Stanford

      WSU (15-31-1, 7-19-1 Pac-12) outhit Stanford 10-6 but the Cardinal (43-8, 21-6 Pac-12) used three straight two-out hits in the sixth inning to even the game and take a 4-2 lead.

    • Photo: Gonzaga Athletics

      Gonzaga falls 4-3 against Santa Clara on Senior Day

      Gonzaga will be back in action on Thursday at the WCC Tournament at a time to be determined. Live coverage will be available on

    • Gonzaga Runs Away Early in 9-0 Win Over Santa Clara

      SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga baseball posted nine runs in the first two innings and Alek Jacob struck out 12 on the way to a 9-0 shutout win over Santa Clara on Saturday night. The win moved Gonzaga to 29-21 overall and 16-10 in the West Coast Conference, and kept them within one game of Pepperdine for the league lead. The Waves beat Portland 6-2 to hold on to the top spot. On Sunday, a Gonzaga win and Pepperdine loss would clinch the No. 1 seed...

    • WSU Athletics

      Cougars comeback falls short; WSU loses to No. 3 Stanford 9-6

      WSU Athletics STANFORD, Calif. – Washington State brought the tying run on deck after scoring six runs in the ninth inning but No. 3 Stanford held on for a 9-6 victory at Sunken Diamond Saturday afternoon.   WSU (15-30-1, 7-18-1 Pac-12) received two-hit games from Andres Alvarez, Dillon Plew and Brody Barnum. Blake Clanton had a three-run triple as part of a six-run ninth inning for the Cougars who saw the game's final out made after Barnum singled to right field to drive ...
    • Gonzaga baseball clinches WCC Tournament berth with 5-3 win over Santa Clara

      Gonzaga baseball took care of business with a solid start from Daniel Bies and four home runs in a 5-3 win over Santa Clara Friday night that clinched a berth in next week’s four-team WCC Tournament. 

    • Photo: Twitter/@WSUCougFB

      Washington State adds three to 2018 signing class

      McDougle (5-11, 295), played the 2017 season at West Virginia where he earned Freshman All-America honors from

    • Photo: Gonzaga Athletics

      Zags rally for 13-Inning win at WSU

      Gonzaga baseball erased a 2-0 deficit and collected a 13-inning win to take the season series over Washington State on Tuesday night in Pullman, Wash.