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Nick Novak
No. --     Free Agent
Personal information
Date of birth: August 21, 1981 (1981-08-21) (age 28)
Place of birth: San Diego, California
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
College: Maryland
Undrafted in 2005
Debuted in 2005 for the Washington Redskins
Career history
 As player:
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • 2× Honorable mention All-ACC (2001, 2004)
  • 2× First-team All-ACC (2002, 2003)
  • Sporting News Freshman All-American (2002)
Stats at

Nicholas Ryan "Nick" Novak (born August 21, 1981 in San Diego, California) is an American football placekicker who is currently a free agent. He was originally signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He played college football at Maryland.

Novak has been a member of the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, Cologne Centurions and Kansas City Chiefs.


Early years

Novak grew up in San Diego and has the same godmother (Dorothy Vails-Weber) as Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow II. After moving to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1994, Novak attended Albemarle High School where he was a letterman in football and soccer. In football, he was a three-year varsity letterman, twice garnering All-District and All-Daily Progress honors, and winning All-State honors following his sophomore and senior seasons. Novak was also a central defender on some of Albemarle's best soccer teams, starring with twin brother Chris. Novak graduated from Albemarle High School in 2000.

College career

Novak attended the University of Maryland. It was during a nationally televised game in 2001 against Georgia Tech that the then-redshirt freshman established himself, successfully completing a 46-yard field goal to send the game into overtime. In the second stanza, Novak connected on a 26-yard field goal that ultimately won the game for a resurgent Terrapin team.[1][2] Novak would go on to establish himself as one of the more consistent and clutch kickers in the country; his leg keyed comeback victories against North Carolina State in 2002 and 2003. Accordingly, he was frequently an all-conference specialist and a mainstay on the Lou Groza watchlist. During the first game of his senior season, he became the ACC's all-time leading scorer, kicking a field goal allowing him to surpass Scott Bentley's career total of 324 points. Novak ultimately ended his college career with 393 points, best in the league and fifth-best all-time amongst kickers in the NCAA.

He was awarded the Jim Tatum Award by the ACC, given annually to the top senior student-athlete among the league's football players.[3] He remains the only Maryland player to receive that award. Said Maryand Coach Ralph Freidgen, "I don't think there could have been a more deserving recipient for the Tatum Award than Nick Novak. Everything he does in his life is toward the goal of perfection. It has been a pleasure to see the effort that he has given both on the field and in the classroom and he is a tremendous example of the type of person and player we are looking for at the University of Maryland."

While at Maryland, Novak was a two-time member of the All-ACC Academic Football team, a three-time member of the ACC Honor Roll and made Maryland's Dean's List on three occasions. He is a three-time CoSida Academic All-District selection and was named the 2004 LeFrak Scholar, an honor given to a Maryland football player, basketball player and track athlete who "exhibits extraordinary athletic ability, leadership and athletic achievement."

In 2007, Novak was selected to be commemorated in a special edition poster recognizing the top 30 figures in Maryland football history entitled, "A Winning Tradition," "honoring and paying tribute to the players and coaches who made a significant impact on the Maryland Football Program, both on and off the field over the past fifty plus years."

Professional career

Novak, an undrafted free agent, signed with the Washington Redskins in September 2005, and appeared in five games, notably hitting a game-winning extra point in a season opening Monday night game at Dallas and coming through with a game-saving tackle on the ensuing kickoff. That year he also kicked a game-winning field goal in overtime against the Seattle Seahawks, which kept the Redskins undefeated and atop the NFC East. Because he was signed that year for the limited purpose of filling in for an ailing John Hall, he was released shortly after Hall returned to form. He was signed almost immediately by the Arizona Cardinals, for kickoff duties while Neil Rackers hobbled through the latter half of the 2005 season. Novak appeared in five games for the Cardinals in 2005 and was 3 for 3 on field goal attempts.

After spending the 2006 preseason with the Cardinals, he re-signed with the Washington Redskins on October 10, 2006, again replacing injured kicker John Hall. On November 5, after missing a 49-yard field goal with 35 seconds left, Redskin safety Troy Vincent blocked a Dallas Cowboys field goal; Sean Taylor picked the ball up and ran it all the way to the Dallas 45 yard line. Then, a facemask penalty was called which moved the ball to the Cowboy 30 and gave the Redskins one more play with no time on the clock. Novak then kicked a 47-yard field goal to defeat Dallas 22-19. It was subsequently ranked the fourth greatest moment in FedExField history by On December 4, the Redskins released Novak in favor of Shaun Suisham. After the end of the 2006 season, he was signed by the Chicago Bears and allocated to NFL Europa where he was the placekicker for the Cologne Centurions in NFL Europa's final season. He had a successful campaign in Europe, including a game-winner for the third-place Centurions. After an impressive preseason with the Bears, Novak was released due to the presence of All-Pro kicker Robbie Gould. Novak auditioned for several teams during the 2007 season, including the San Diego Chargers, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Kansas City Chiefs. Novak was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs on February 18, 2008.

On September 28, 2008, Novak kicked four field goals for the Chiefs in their 33-19 victory over the Denver Broncos.[4] On October 21, 2008, Novak was cut after missing two field goals in the previous game, being replaced by Connor Barth. Novak was one of seven kickers to be on the Chiefs roster in the past two years.


  1. ^ Player Bio: Nick Novak, University of Maryland Terrapins Football official website, accessed 6 December 2008.
  2. ^ No. 22 Terrapins Top Tech in Overtime, Univ. of Maryland football official website, accessed 6 December 2008.
  3. ^ Maryland's Novak Named ACC's Tatum Award Winner :: Award is given annually to conference's top senior student-athlete
  4. ^ Teicher, Adam (2008-09-28), "Novak finally gets his kicks with Chiefs", Wichita Eagle,  

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