Head football coach Tom Nickelson resigns

Story by Sarah Alcantar

After 21 years of coaching, head coach of the Pittsburg High School football team, Tom Nickelson has hung up his whistle by officially resigning on Monday January 31. 

“It’s been in the works for a little bit. It just became apparent to me that it was time for me personally, and for the program to make the change,” Nickelson said. “I think the program is ready for a new voice, and I’m ready to refresh and restart a little bit. It’s an amazing job, it’s one that I love but it’s time consuming. The program needs someone who can put that time and energy in and I just did not mentally or physically feel that I can do that justice. Our boys, this community and this school deserve someone that can do that.”

Throughout Nickelson’s coaching career he has always witnessed the overwhelming support from the community and school system. 

 “The one overriding memory I have is the unbridled support this community gives its football team,” Nickelson said. “I think most places are not like Pittsburg. Football is part of Pittsburg. It is very important in just the way everybody comes to support these boys.”


Nickelson’s favorite part about coaching at PHS has been the relationships that he has been able to make with his athletes. 

“The wins and losses are great but this is all about the boys that come through here,” Nickelson said. “You hope to teach them something about football but hope to teach them something about life, and life lessons. It’s not always pretty, it’s not always fun, they don’t always like you, but I wanted to always try to help them.”

Nickelson has encountered many positive experiences at PHS but the most impactful experiences were made by his athletes. 

“They are the reason you do this,” Nickelson said. “This is not a job you make a lot of money at. You do it because those boys are special young men and every single one of them has left an impact on me. Whether you are the star player or the third-string, it doesn’t matter. You came in and did the work and it had an impact on me. It’s been an honor, Pittsburg has been a special place.”