Nicholas Askew: HU's Head Swimming and Diving Coach

When Nicholas Askew (B.S. ’01) left Kinston, N.C., for Howard University, he was the third installment in a family trilogy.

Brothers Joseph Askew (B.B.A. ’92) and the late Mark Askew (B.B.A. ’94; M.B.A. ’96) had preceded him at the University. Each one had found a spot on the Howard Men’s Swimming and Diving Team, and Nic—as he had all his life—once again followed “two of the biggest role models in my life.”

Coach Nicholas Askew is now in his second year leading the program in which he once excelled. He was named MVP for three of the four years he swam
for Howard (1996–2001), set several records and was team captain.

At a time when other universities are retrenching, the Howard University swimming and diving program is on the move. The new, young coach has brought a fresh outlook to the team and some definite ideas about the roles he and his squad should play.

For the 2015–2016 academic year, Howard has the only NCAA Division I coed teams at any historically black college or university (HBCU). North Carolina A&T State University, which has
a women’s program only, plans to end it after this academic year.

“We are the only face you will ever see like this,” Coach Askew said of his coed program. “We feel we have the face of what young African Americans can aspire to be.” One can go to college, swim and even secure a scholarship.

Askew said the Bison program is robust because of strong support from President Wayne A. I. Frederick, the Board of Trustees, the Athletic Department and new Director of Athletics Kery Davis. They all have been “creative” in providing what the team needs, Askew said.

One goal is to increase the successful Sponsor a Swimmer program, which raised about $20,000 last year. Each swimmer needs about $1,000 per year in support. The coach is looking for up to $45,000 this year.

The Askew Love Story

Coach Nicholas Askew met his wife, Christie Askew (B.S. ’00), at Howard. Here are the details of their meeting:

When: Fall 1997
Where: The Howard Cafeteria
How: Mutual friends introduced Nicholas to, then, Christie Robinson.
Since Then: After graduation, Christie Askew worked in Howard’s Development and Alumni Relations Department for 13 years. She now runs a business in Silver Spring, Md.—C’Sheree Boutique. Coach Nic and Christie Askew are the parents of a 1-year-old daughter, Aleea Soleil.

To Sponsor a Swimmer:

Make checks payable to BISON EXPRESS SWIMMING and mail to Coach Nicholas Askew, Howard University, Sixth and Girard Sts. NW, Washington, DC 20059.
Credit card contributions can be made online at

Be sure to designate BISON EXPRESS SWIMMING AND DIVING as your contribution choice. You can also select the frequency of payments. The cost to fully support one swimmer for one year is $1,000, or about $80 per month. Contributions of any amount are welcome and all are fully tax deductible.




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