Richard Charles Nolan was an American football player and coach in the National Football League and served as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints. While in college, Nolan was named an Honorable Mention All-American. He was drafted by the New York Giants and played for four teams before he retired from active playing and joined the Cowboys coaching staff.
Nolan was on the Cowboys’ staff for six years, the last year being the season in which the Cowboys played in the Ice Bowl. Afterwards, he was head coach of the San Francisco 49ers for eight seasons from 1968 through 1975, noted for developing the defense and taking the team to three straight NFC West division titles (1970-72), twice missing the Super Bowl by only one game (1970-71). Additionally, he was head coach for the New Orleans Saints from 1978-80 going 15-29. He was the first Saints head coach to win six, seven, and eight games in a single season, going 7-9 in 1978 and 8-8 in 1979. Nolan was fired by the Saints in 1980 after an 0-12 start.