Enid's Michael Nelson - Coach of the Month Presented by Rick's Pharmacy
Many coaches in high school athletics coach more than one sport. Some coach various sports throughout their careers. Enid High School volleyball coach Michael Nelson got his start as a volunteer coach while serving in the military.
“I have been coaching since I was 19 years old. My first couple of years in the military, I was a volunteer coach for Agua Fria High school and Deer Valley High school wrestling teams in Phoenix, AZ. Then I started coaching adults in intramural football and volleyball. I coached soccer for one semester and I started coaching girls volleyball in 2014,” said Nelson.
As if his schedule wasn’t busy enough, Nelson also serves as one of two JROTC instructors at Enid HS.
“I am one of two Instructors in the Air Force JROTC program at Enid High School. Earlier this year I found out that I was selected as one of the top 16 instructors of the year. I am in charge of our competition teams and last year we won five trophies, including our very first, first place trophy. We have been the AFA Best JROTC in state for the last three years,” said Nelson.
Nelson said that unlike many of his peers, his path into coaching doesn’t include that one coach who influenced him to enter the profession. It was a collection of iconic coaches and a desire to make a difference in the lives of students.
“I don’t know that someone inspired me to be a coach more than someone else. As a young man, I have always loved watching true story movies about teams that had great coaches. I have always admired great coaches from different sports and I often joke about how copy great ideas from a lot of coaches. Some of my favorite coaches are Dean Smith UNC basketball, Roy Williams UNC basketball, John Smith OSU wrestling, Chris Lamb WSU volleyball,” said Nelson.
Like those great coaches, Nelson believes the reward for coaching and teaching is the impact you as a coach can make on a young person’s life.
“The thing I enjoy most about coaching is making a lasting impact in people’s life. As a coach, we have one of the most important jobs of all time. I love developing athletes and seeing how much they grow from the time they started with you till the time they move on. I love creating relationships that seem to last forever. For instance, in my very short soccer career, most of those kids still call me coach to this day. I remember every athlete I have coached and in some way they have played a huge part in helping me become the coach I am today,” said Nelson.
Coaching in 2020 certainly has a new look. For coach Nelson, the adjustments are worth the price to be on the court this season.
“During the pandemic, I wear my mask, we swap out balls during games, we sanitize the balls, and I am a high five kind of guy but now I just give a little fist bump. I also always have hand sanitizer close by,” said Nelson.
Nelson said he enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, Lea, Alaina and Matthew.
“I believe my wife saved my life but that another story for another day. Together, we watch movies, play games, and travel,” said Nelson.