Former USC player, coach 'Mr. Trojan' Nick Pappas dies at 99 staff KABC logo
Saturday, October 24, 2015

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- After 59 years of service at the University of Southern California as a player, coach and athletic department administrator, Nick Pappas, known as "Mr. Trojan," has died of natural causes at age 99.

The university said Pappas died Friday in Pasadena.

Services for Pappas, who was best known for creating the Trojan Club athletic support group, are pending, and the family suggests donations be made to the USC Nick Pappas Football Scholarship.

Pappas began his journey at USC as a tailback on the football team in 1939 for three years, leading the team in rushing under Howard Jones.

Pappas returned to the university in 1939 to coach the freshmen football teams after playing professionally for the Hollywood Bears for one year. After six seasons scouting for pro teams, he scouted for USC for two years.

Pappas went on to become assistant varsity football coach from 1953 to 1956 under Jess Hill, with the 1954 squad playing in the Rose Bowl.

Pappas later built USC's Trojan Club donor group and rose to the position of associate athletic director in charge of athletic development. After retiring in 1981, he remained active in the department until 2004.

Pappas is survived by his daughters, Lisa Widman and Mona Pappas, along with five grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren. His wife of 66 years, Deede, and a daughter, Rene Arrobio, had passed before him.