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Nick Howell
Nick  Howell

Defensive Coordinator/Secondary

Alma Mater:
Weber State (2005)

Nick Howell enters his third season at Virginia on Bronco Mendenhall’s staff and is the defensive coordinator/secondary coach.

In Howell's second season in Charlottesville he oversaw a secondary that boasted a corps that ranked No. 7 in the nation and No. 2 in the ACC against the pass (165.8). The group was headed by three-time first-team All-ACC player Quin Blanding, ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year Brenton Nelson and third-team All-ACC cornerback Juan Thornhill. Blanding finished his illustrious career with more All-America honors and as UVA's all-time record holder with 495 career tackles. The 495 career tackles rank tied for No. 6 all-time in ACC history and are the most by any ACC defensive back. Blanding finished each of his four seasons No. 2 in the ACC in tackles, a feat that hadn't even been done three times in the leauge until he did it after his junior year. In his duties overseeing the defense, inside linebacker Micah Kiser was named the Campbell Trophy winner (Academic Heisman) and led the ACC in tackles for the third year in a row. Only Boston College's Luke Kuechly (2009-11) had previously accomplished the feat in league history. Kiser was also a three-time first-team All-ACC honoree and received multiple All-America honors over the past two seasons.

Howell served on Mendenhall’s BYU staff in several roles from 2007-15, most recently as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach. Howell first came to BYU in 2007 as a defensive intern. From 2008-09 Howell was a defensive graduate assistant. Howell’s first full-time position on Mendenhall’s staff came in 2010 as the outside linebacker coach and from 2011-12 he was the secondary coach and a special teams coach.

Howell helped the defensive unit at BYU finish the 2015 regular season ranked No. 6 nationally in sacks per game and No. 15 in tackles for loss after the Cougars ranked No. 20 in rushing defense in 2014.

Despite having to defend more plays than all but four teams nationally in 2013 due to BYU's up-tempo offensive system, the Cougar defense ranked No. 12 nationally in yards-per-play defense, No. 16 in pass efficiency defense and No. 22 in scoring defense. Howell helped the BYU defense rank No. 3 in total defense (266.1 yards allowed) and No. 10 in passing yards allowed (179.2 yards per game) in 2012.

In 2011, Howell helped the defense rank No. 15 in pass efficiency defense, allowing a rating of 112.58. In that same year, the Cougars ranked No. 13 in overall defense.

Howell first came to BYU in 2007 as a defensive intern and then served two years as a graduate assistant before being hired as an assistant coach in 2010. Since first being hired at BYU by Mendenhall in 2007, he has helped coach defensive backs and linebackers. Howell started as a full-time coach working as the team’s outside linebackers coach before taking over the BYU secondary partway through the 2010 season.

Prior to coming to BYU, Howell was the head coach at Ben Lomond High School (Ogden, Utah) from 2004-2006 and served as defensive coordinator at Weber High School (North Ogden, Utah) in 2003 and defensive line coach at Sky View High School (Smithfield, Utah) in 2002.

A native of Ogden, Utah, Howell earned a M.A. in education with teaching certification from the University of Phoenix in 2007 after receiving his undergraduate degree in history from Weber State in 2005. Howell and his wife Brooke have four children.

Howell's contributions at BYU helped the Cougars put one of the nation's top defenses on the field each year he was in Provo. In 2013, Howell was a candidate for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach.

Coach Howell
Hometown Ogden, Utah
High School Ben Lomond HS, Ogden, Utah, 1998
College Weber State, 2005
Graduate School University of Phoenix, 2007, M.A. education with teaching certification
Family wife, Brooke; four children, Dakota, Kayla, Autumn and Zion
Coaching Experience
2002 - Sky View High School
Defensive Line
2003 - Weber High School
Defensive Coordinator
2004-06 - Ben Lomond High School
Head Coach
2007 - BYU
Defensive Intern
2008-09 - BYU
Defensive Graduate Assistant
2010 - BYU
Outside Linebackers
2011-12 - BYU
Secondary and Special Teams
2013-15 - BYU
Defensive Coordinator/Secondary
2016-present - Virginia
Defensive Coordinator/Secondary
Postseason Experience
Las Vegas Bowl (2007)
Las Vegas Bowl (2008)
Las Vegas Bowl (2009)
New Mexico Bowl (2010)
Armed Forces Bowl (2011)
Poinsettia Bowl (2012)
Fight Hunger Bowl (2013)
Miami Beach Bowl (2014)
Las Vegas Bowl (2015)
Military Bowl (2017)
Former Prominent Players Coached
Preston Hadley (BYU)
Skye PoVey (BYU)
Daniel Sorensen (BYU)
Quin Blanding (Virginia)
Micah Kiser (Virginia)


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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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