CHICAGO – Saint Xavier University and its Athletics Department mourns the loss of former football student-athlete, A.J. (Allen L.) Nichols. Nichols passed away unexpectedly last week. The Tinley Park (Ill.) native was a kicker and punter for the Cougars from 2008-2011 and a member of the 2011 national championship team. He graduated from SXU in 2012 with a degree in criminal justice. Nichols was the team's leading scorer as a freshman in 2008 with 55 points off six field goals and 37 PATs.
"AJ's unexpected passing creates a hole in the heart of every one of his teammates, coaches and fellow SXU football alums," said Saint Xavier University football coach Mike Feminis. "AJ was a valuable member of our 2011 national championship team and I'll always remember as a true freshman in 2008 when he made a last-second, game-winning field goal in a road game against nationally ranked Ohio Dominican.
"However, AJ as a player couldn't match the kind of son, brother, teammate and friend he was to so many," continued Feminis. "Ironically, we had our annual Cougar Football Alumni Fiesta on Saturday, which AJ was planning to attend. We started the day by grieving the loss at his funeral, but then celebrated his life that evening with nearly 100 Cougar football alums and coaches. Our thoughts and prayers will be with AJ's incredibly loving parents, Al and Connie, along with his older sister Jen, younger brother Tommy and the entire Nichols family. The SXU Cougar Football nation will never forget AJ."
A visitation was held for Nichols on Friday, February 11, at Lawn Funeral Home in Tinley Park. The funeral service was held on Saturday, February 12, at St. Stephen Deacon & Martyr in Tinley Park with the burial at Good Shepherd Cemetery in Orland Park.
To view his obituary online, please click HERE