Nick Douglass had no choice but to become a coach. His mother coached at Fowlerville High School and Douglass quickly followed. He’s been a co-head coach for the Linden varsity football team since 2012 with Denny Hopkins. We recently asked Douglass some questions about a variety of athletic topics.
How did you get into coaching?
Growing up I always had a passion for coaching, teaching, working with others and ‘strategizing.’ So I guess I just followed my passion.
What high school did you attend and what sports did you play?
I graduated from Fowlerville High School. I played three years of varsity football, three years of varsity basketball, and lettered all four years in track.
What are some of the valuable lessons you think students can learn through athletics?
Players can learn a lot more than what I will list but the main ones are teamwork, social skills, how to respond in both victory and defeat, organizational skills, time management, and prioritizing their daily life’s layout just to name a few.
What have you learned about yourself through coaching athletics?
That I dislike losing more than I like winning. No, really on a serious level I’ve learned how to relate to different types of players/athletes. No two athletes are the same.
What advice would you give to a high school coach just starting their coaching career today?
Be patient, be organized, learn from others, and be open-minded.
What makes a squad a good team?
Playing for one another and not
themselves. When players will run through a brick wall for the teammate on their left and right because they care so deeply for that person, that bond then carries over to their personal lives off the field/outside the lines. Which then in turn creates successful members of society.
What has been the most rewarding part of coaching so far during your career?
The ability to fulfill numerous passions all in one avenue. Everyday is a “test,” through practice, game, strategy and relations with the players. Brainstorming with other people and coming up with a strategy that we deem best to succeed in the game. I enjoy watching kids become men. I work with most of the players in middle school, so I get to see them before they mature and become young men.
What is something most people don't know about you?
I originally set out to be a pharmacist in college, as I really have a passion for sciences. After a couple years of science major work, I realized I wouldn’t be able to do what my real passion was, which was work with kids everyday to help create our future society. Once I realized that, along with acknowledging my passion for sport, I changed to Physical Education major.
How is it working with fellow coach Denny Hopkins on the football staff?
It has been a great 16 years (this will be my 17th overall) with the last 12 being on varsity. When we became “Co-Head” in 2012, I don’t think either one of us was 100 percent certain how it would go together exactly, but we knew one thing was for sure, we had worked well together in the years prior by communicating and figured at the least that would stay the same. It has been a pleasure learning from him over the years with how he has handled everything. Sometimes it is scary how “in tune” with one another we are, as there are moments that we are both thinking and/or do the exact same thing. When that happens we usually have a pretty successful Friday night.