Brantford’s Nick Rawls is the place he needs to be.
The 30-year-old graduate of North Park Collegiate and West Virginia College is in his sixth yr as head coach of the boys’s volleyball program at St. Andrews College in North Carolina.
“I couldn’t be happier with waking up each day, heading to the fitness center, planning a observe after which being round folks I care about,” stated Rawls.
“Each job has its challenges however I’ve received no complaints. I might a lot reasonably be doing what I’m doing than anything.”
After stepping on the court docket and taking part in volleyball as a teen, Rawls quickly realized the route he was going to take to remain within the recreation.
Enjoying at NPC on Brant County championship groups with nice gamers, he knew his future was outdoors the traces on the court docket.
“I used to be 15 and I appeared round and I used to be taking part in with guys who I knew had been higher than me,” he stated. “I noticed I wasn’t going to be knowledgeable athlete.
“I sort of realized I appreciated teaching and I appreciated the concept of being round sports activities.”
At NPC, Rawls was coached by Sandy Beedham, who alongside together with her husband, Rick, run the Brant Youth Volleyball Membership.
Rawls stated he advised Sandy Beedham he needed to educate and he or she requested him to educate the volleyball membership’s under-13 ladies staff.
“Over the following 4 years, I coached in all probability 9 or 10 groups.”
In 2006, Beedham took Rawls to Thailand with the membership for the Worldwide Kids’s Video games.
“I’m without end indebted due to the chance she gave me and the probabilities that Brant Youth Volleyball (gave me),” stated Rawls.
He went on to West Virginia College, the place he performed membership volleyball for 3 years, whereas additionally working with the ladies’s squad as a staff supervisor, observe participant and volunteer coach.
After graduating from WVU in 2012, he took a yr off after which went to Rio Grande College, the place he helped as an assistant coach with the ladies’s program.
In 2015, Rawls grew to become the primary head coach of the brand new Nationwide Affiliation of Intercollegiate Athletics program at St. Andrews. He stated for the job he drew on his expertise with WVU coaches Veronica Hammersmith and Jill Kramer, in addition to Rio Grande coach Billina Donaldson
“I needed to develop a household unit, emphasizing belief and loyalty. I used to be blessed with the chance to construct it from scratch.”
It didn’t take Rawls lengthy to show the Knights right into a contender.
St. Andrews, which performs within the Mid-South Convention, gained convention championships in 2018 and 2019, which despatched them to the nationwide championship two years in a row.
“It was an incredible expertise for the blokes to go and compete on the highest degree for his or her division,” stated Rawls. “It was nice to witness the highest groups within the nation and be capable to take into account your self a part of that.”
The Knights season will start in January. Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, video games are a go, he stated.
“As of proper now, we’re planning to go ahead with it and we’re enthusiastic about it,” stated Rawls. “Hopefully, we get a full season in.”
Being removed from dwelling for greater than a decade, Rawls is grateful for the assist acquired from his household, together with mother and father, Andrew and Laura.
“They allowed me to chase this loopy dream of teaching school volleyball,” he stated.
“Quite a lot of mother and father would have been a bit of hesitant however they stated go forward and do it. I’m very grateful for them, their assist and their love that’s allowed me to chase what I needed to do and trusting me to determine it out.”
Rawls stated he doesn’t know what his future holds however he’s loved his time St. Andrews.
“It’s been an important expertise and I’ve beloved each second of it.”