Austin College graduate Coach Marvin Nash was interviewed by Roo James Kowalewski (Coach Kovo) on his Team Player Podcast this weekend. The podcast shines a spotlight on the stories of coaches around the state of Texas, including many with Austin College roots. In addition to Nash, Coach Kovo has also interviewed Pat Abernathey & Benjamin Moran. It’s worth a listen. Like and follow on Spotify & Apple to support! Links in the comments.
In the interview, Coach Nash mentions his early background in investment banking, and how the money from that era did not compensate for his passion for molding lives. That speaks to me, as someone who left behind a Boston career in investments to return home to something much less lucrative but more human and rewarding. Nobody likes investment banking stories like they do stories about coaches, which is why I prefer to write about the latter.
Nash also writes about coaching “bonus checks,” which he defines not as $$$ but rather letters from former players writing to former coaches about their accomplishments and to thank them for turning their lives around. I like to say that coaches work investment banking hours without investment banking pay, so I enjoy this Nash idea that coaches might get a human bonus check for their very critical human work.
Nash was a starter on the defensive side for the 2000 Roo football team, which won 7 games in the highly competitive American Southwest Conference (ASC). How good is the ASC? The conference champion in 2021, Mary Hardin-Baylor, was also the D3 national champion and remains the most successful Texas football program this century. Two of those 7 AC victories, against Mississippi College & East Texas Baptist, were won in dramatic fashion. You can read about the 2000 season in my first Roo Tale book, “The Stories of Austin College Athletics.”
Nash also writes passionately about racial injustice. I’m an ally. I also believe that organized athletics can be a tool to combat that injustice. As I wrote in the Roo Tale “Berry College: Remember the Titans:”
“If race and politics are the wounds of America, sport is a balm. Sport has been one of the most successful American vehicles to soothe the original sin of this good nation of ours. And the reason for that is simple. When our men and women suit up, they become one unit regardless of background or heritage.”
Berry College in Atlanta, GA was briefly a conference rival for Austin College last decade. Berry College was also the shooting location for the 2000 movie “Remember the Titans,” about a de-segregated football team which overcomes their prejudices to win a title. A moving scene in the movie occurs on location at Berry when the white and black members of the defensive side bond over the phrase “left side! strong side!” Imagine my joy then, when Coach Nash informed me during the story of the 2000 campaign that the AC Roo defense that year adopted the phrase “left side! strong side!” as their own after viewing.
You can read more about Berry College and “Remember the Titans” in my third Roo Tales book. Entitled “Rivals and Legends,” book #3 tells the stories of AC competition against “rival” schools and AC “legends” in the Hall of Honor. The Berry College story is in the “Rivals” section. I hope to have book #3 wrapped up by Labor Day 2022.
Follow Coach Kovo’s podcast for great coaching interviews, both AC and otherwise. Great interview Coach Nash.