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FSU hoops hires Kevin Nickelberry as new assistant coach

Seminoles basketball adds experienced, recruiting-focused staff member

Georgetown v Xavier Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Florida State men’s basketball has hired Georgetown associate head coach Kevin Nickelberry as an assistant coach, the program announced on Friday.

Nickelberry spent one year with the Hoyas after three years with the LSU Tigers, serving as an assistant coach as well as interim head coach in 2022.

Before his time in Baton Rouge, he was the head coach of the Howard Bisons from 2010-2019 where he went 96–194 (57–87 MEAC).

The school also confirmed the departure of assistant coach R-Jay Barsh, who is headed to a similar role with the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

From his Georgetown bio:

Kevin Nickelberry is currently in his first year with the Georgetown men’s basketball program, serving as the associate head coach. Quick out of the gate, Nickelberry quickly got started on assembling a class from the NCAA transfer portal. Following seven commitments, including Brandon Murray (LSU), Akok Akok (UConn) and bringing Qudus Wahab (Maryland) back to the Hilltop, the class was tabbed No. 2 on’s Transfer Portal rankings.

A proven talent evaluator, Nickelberry brings more than 25 years of experience in Division I men’s basketball. Nickelberry has worked in all facets of a collegiate program with responsibilities ranging from player development and pregame scouting to in-game coaching and game management as well as previously serving as a head coach.


Nickelberry comes to Georgetown following a three-year stint at LSU where he served primarily as an assistant coach and was the director of recruiting for the Tigers.

Prior to LSU, Nickelberry served as the head coach at Howard University (2010-19), Hampton (2006-09) and with the Columbia Union women’s team (1991-94) and was an assistant coach at Howard, Monmouth, Holy Cross, Charlotte and Clemson before being named head coach at Hampton.

In 2009, Nickelberry took on the role as the head coach of the Libya Men’s National Basketball team. During the 2009 FIBA Africa Championship, Libya won more games in international play than any other season prior and since.


The DC native was responsible for bringing a wealth of talent to Baton Rouge as his efforts contributed to a trio of top 10 classes in as many seasons at LSU (2020 - 5th; 2021 - 6th; 2022 - 9th).

Nickelberry was the lead recruiter for the 2021 class that saw LSU bring in a five-star center and a duo of four-star guards to go along with another pair of four stars and a three-star signee.

In his three years with the Tigers, LSU advanced to the 2021 and 2022 NCAA Tournaments (2020 was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic) and achieved 20 wins in two of his three years.

While at Howard, he was known as a program builder, recruiting and coaching three players who made the Top 50 All-Time MEAC team. When he left Howard, he was second all-time in wins and had guided the Bison back to postseason play for the first time since 1992 with a spot in the 2019 College Basketball Invitational.

In his coaching career, he has been a part of preparing players who have earned nearly 25 rookie / newcomer / player of the year honors as well as coaching more than 30 all-conference players.


In March 2022, Nickelberry was named to the Advancement of Blacks in Sports (ABIS) 2022 Men’s Basketball Assistant Coaches Watch List for his efforts at LSU.

During his stint at Hampton, he was named among the top 25 “Up-and-Coming” coaches by Sporting News (2008). His tenure at Hampton saw him turn the team’s scoring defense from 168 in Division I to 12th in the NCAA by the end of his third year.

During his various tenures as an assistant coach, he was named by Basketball Times, The Hoop Scoop and as one of the top assistants in the country and has worked in many areas including recruiting, fundraising, marketing and public relations.


Nickelberry was born in Washington, D.C., went to Central High School (Capitol Heights, Maryland) and played at Virginia Wesleyan University where he graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.

Prior to beginning his coaching career, Nickelberry was involved in many successful entrepreneurial ventures. He was the president of two public relations firms and founded an at-risk youth non-profit organization in the Washington, D.C. area.

Nickelberry and his wife, Felicia, are the parents of three sons – Carter, Kyan and Kelby.


1991-92: Assistant Coach, Columbia Union1

991-94: Head Women’s Coach, Columbia Union

1995-98: Assistant Coach, Howard

1998-99: Assistant Coach, Monmouth

1999-01: Assistant Coach, Holy Cross

2001-03: Assistant Coach, Charlotte

2003-06: Assistant Coach, Clemson

2006-09: Head Coach, Hampton

2009: Head Coach, Libya National Team

2009-10: Assistant Coach, DePaul

2010-19: Head Coach, Howard

2019-20: Assistant to the HC, LSU

2020-22: Assistant Coach, LSU

2022: Interim Head Coach, LSU

2022-pres.: Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator, Georgetown