Oral Histories

Interview of William Nicholas

General manager of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Interviewed because of connection to J.D. Morgan, UCLA tennis coach and athletic director.
Right Man at the Right Time: J. D. Morgan
Right Man at the Right Time: J.D. Morgan
UCLA and University of California History
UCLA Intercollegiate Athletics Staff
Rose, David A.
Nicholas, William
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This series documents the contribution of UCLA Athletics Coach J.D. Morgan through interviews with individuals who had worked with Morgan both inside and outside the UCLA community.
William Nicholas on his memories of J. D. Morgan: First impressions of Morgan: a hard bargainer and a seeker of “near perfection”; As general manager of the Coliseum, dealings with Morgan and UCLA; Disappointment over failure to build football stadium on Westwood campus; Morgan’s involvement in Coliseum Relays; Prestige among athletic directors; Nicholas’s working relationship with Morgan; Protecting an immature Lew Alcindor and UCLA at the same time; Support of the Rose Bowl and the Tournament of Roses pageant; Anticipation of importance of television to college athletics; Opposition to Super Bowl played in Rose Bowl; Morgan’s attitudes about professional sport; Financial acumen; Offer to succeed Nicholas; Morgan as media innovator; Personal relationship between Morgan and Nicholas; Morgan’s personal qualities; A fight with Father Joyce of Notre Dame on the question of need-based aid; Attitude about officiating; Drive for perfection and control; Response to illness; Controversies; Sam Gilbert and UCLA basketball program; Morgan’s hiring and firing decisions; Attitudes toward social unrest in 1960s and 1970s.