Jack Nicholson, longtime Canadian coach, dies at 82

Jack Nicholson, the accomplished Canadian national team coach and longtime leader for Ridley College rowing, passed away Monday, Dec. 1, after suffering several health complications. He was 82.

“He was a father to many, rowing coach to many more and a legend in the sport,” said Ridley College Coach Nancy Storrs in an email. “He will be dearly missed.”

Nicholson’s career coaching achievements spanned more than 50 years and included 19 years as a national team sculling coach for Canada. He coached four Olympic teams in 1980, ’84, ’88 and 2000.

After rowing for St. Catherines RC, Nicholson served as a coach there from 1959-1971. In 1964, he was the first head coach of Brock University rowing. Nicholson began coaching for Ridley College in 1972 and continued that work through this year.

A long list of accolades were bestowed upon him over the years, including being named coach of the year for Canada and RowOntario, plus a lifetime achievement award from Rowing Canada. These, coupled with countless medals at major national and international regattas, contribute to his legendary status.

Storrs said a stroke, heart attack and other issues made Nicholson’s last days challenging, but that he was surrounded by many family and friends.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced. Updates will be posted as they are available.

About Connor Walters 12 Articles
Connor is a freelance writer and Web journalist, specializing in the sport of rowing. He has been published in Rowing Magazine, Discover Magazine and a number of online outlets. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Connor received his master's in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School in 2014. In 2013, he graduated from Marietta College with a bachelor's in journalism.

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