Nichols was a four-year wrestler at Ithaca College. He qualified for nationals all four years, winning the first of four 150-pound regional titles in 1987. As a sophomore he finished sixth in the 150-pound class at the NCAA meet. His junior season featured 32 wins, a 13-2 dual-match mark and a fifth-place finish at nationals, helping the Bombers win their first NCAA title. Nichols earned the school’s Jack Stanbro “Heart” Award at the conclusion of the season.
As a senior Nichols recorded a 32-5 mark, eight pins, an Ithaca Invitational title and runner-up showings at the state championship meet and at the NCAA championships as Ithaca defended its national title. He earned a spot on the National Wrestling Coaches Association all-academic team and was presented with Ithaca’s Clyde “Whitey” Cole Scholar-Athlete Award. Marty is tied for sixth on Ithaca’s career list with 115 overall victories and 42 dual-match wins.
From 1990 to 1992 he was an assistant wrestling coach at Division I Cornell University. The Big Red won the Ivy League championship both seasons and claimed the Eastern Region title in 1992. Nichols then spent a year as assistant wrestling coach and the following season as head coach at Ithaca High School, before returning to Ithaca College as an assistant coach for the 1994-95 season. The Bombers placed third at the NCAA championships that year. He became head coach the following season.
Marty Nichols completed his 26th season as head coach at his alma mater during the 2021-2022 campaign. He raised his career record to 285-101-1.
He has coached 10 national champions and 80 All-Americans.
His squads have won 10 Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference championships.
Nichols was the 2011 NCAA Coach of the Year. In both 2018 and 2020 he was the Mideast Region Coach of the Year. Also in 2018, Marty was the National Wrestling Coaches Association Coach of the Year.
He was inducted into the Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997 and the National Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018.
Nichols resides in Skaneateles, N.Y.