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Longtime College Football Assistant Has Died At 45

A general view of USC's football stadium.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: A general view of the 2017 Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual between the USC Trojans and the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Rose Bowl on January 2, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Late Friday night, the football world received some devastating news when a beloved coach passed away.

Dave Nichol, an assistant coach for the USC Trojans passed away on Friday, according to a statement from the school. He was just 45 years old.

Head coach Lincoln Riley hired Nichol as the team's new associate head coach for offense and inside wide receivers coach. Following Nichol's passing, Riley issued a statement about his longtime friend.

"We are heartbroken and devastated," Riley said in a statement. "Dave was such a tremendous human being and a fantastic football coach. He absolutely loved the game and constantly poured his heart and soul into his teams. He will be dearly missed."

Earlier this week, Riley announced Nichol would be focusing on a personal matter and would be away from the team. USC did not announce a cause of death, but ESPN reported the longtime assistant lost his battle with cancer.

Nichol got his start in the coaching world as an assistant at Texas Tech. Following stints there and at Baylor, he spent four years at Washington State as a receivers coach under Mike Leach.

He then served as the inside receivers coach at Mississippi State the last two seasons, before joining Riley at USC.

Our thoughts are with the Nichol family.