Nicholas Askew was born and raised in Kinston, NC, where he began sports at a very early age. He splashed in his first pool when he was three years old. At age seven he walked onto his first tennis court.
When he was 10 he became a rigorous competitor, being groomed as a future Olympic swimmer. By the end of high school his exceptional swimming and tennis talent earned him the distinguished title of High School Athlete of the Year. In 1996, after receiving scholarships for swimming and tennis, Askew left his hometown to study at Howard University in the nation’s capital.
During his time as a dual-sport student- athlete, Askew’s achievements mounted: he broke several swimming records, served as team captain and became a six-time conference champion. He also acquired the “Most Valuable Player” award four times – three times for swimming and once for tennis. He had the distinguishment of being the only student-athlete to have earned an MVP award in two sports in the same year.
In 2001, he became an assistant coach at his alma mater, helping to recruit top talent and train them into even stronger athletes. The following year, he began to empower more young people as the director of programs at the Prince George’s Tennis and Education Foundation in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
With nearly two decades of experience as a professional coach, Askew has worked with top athletes from around the globe, helping to nurture them into top-ranked district, state-level, and national-level athletes. "He doesn’t just teach youth how to compete; he uses sport to teach athletes life skills, such as leadership, accountability, discipline and patience.
Askew’s coaching style along with his commitment to empowering students and the community has earned him several honors including "Coach of the Week," "Coach of the Year," and "Professional of the Year." He continues to be highlighted by Howard University magazine, The Washington Post, WHUR, WTOP, NBC4, ABC7, WUSA9, DCW50 and USA Swimming for his various accomplishments.
Currently in his fifth season as the head coach for Howard University, the nation's only historically black college or university with a Division 1 swim and dive team, Askew has grown the program tremendously. In his third season both men’s and women’s teams boasted their best records in nearly 30 years. Additionally, they finished the dual meet season undefeated at home. To date, Howard has broken 35 school records.
A proud Bison, Askew has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. In addition to coaching, he continues to serve as a mentor and teacher.