Coach Profile: Randy Nyquist
Some call it the "Randy Nyquist Experience." Others say Coach Nyquist simply "has a way with kids." However you want to slice it, Randy Nyquist influences people, especially kids. As a teacher and coach at Stayton High School, Mr. Nyquist gets a chance to influence students on a daily basis. While not everything is readily available for all to see, like his burning competitive spirit, other attributes are quite obvious. What you can't miss is his laugh and easy-going nature. He looks at ease in just about any conversation covering any topic, especially as it relates to kids.
When someone coaches a sport like football and track for thirty plus years, they get a chance to influence over 3,000 student athletes. To have an influence on that many kids, and make it a positive experience for virtually every one of them, takes an extraordinary person. Coach Nyquist is extraordinary. Spend five minutes with him talking about one of his students, not even a football player, and you will see just how much he cares for all kids. He believes in holding students accountable, but he also believes in second chances and adding "scaffolding" (a term coined by educators) to give the students all the help they need to succeed. His desire for student achievement is unsurpassed. He loves kids, and they know it.
Successful. The word successful has many different connotations. In sports, it usually means winning. Coach Nyquist wins. He has coached at many different levels, and he always wins. While building a dynasty at West Albany High School, he won three state titles including a title in 2013 when his team defeated Sherwood in the championship game after losing to them 48-0 earlier in the year. Who does that? Coaches who get the most out of kids and can create a game plan to overcome unbelievable odds to win, that's who. While winning is not everything in sports, working together with a close knit family to achieve something like winning is what make sports fun. Kids who play for Coach have fun!
Parents. It is impossible for coaches to please every parent all the time. The very nature of a team sport like football is some kids will play a lot, and other kids will be practice players and see little playing time. Just about every kid understands that; parents don't always get it. The best coaches are those that navigate the "parental waters" and set parents' mind at ease. Coach Nyquist not only has a way with kids, he has a way with parents too. As with any situation, when there is a negative feel or something "goes wrong", the voices from the community come through loud and clear. It takes an extraordinary coach for a school to hear about a coach when things are going well. Recently, the senior football players (& parents) decided to cook and serve dinner for the coaching staff and their spouses/partners and their parents. In referencing that night, this quote is just one example of the kind of unsolicited feedback the school has received regarding Coach Nyquist.
"I believe you'd be proud to say the least. I cannot express enough the dedication, mentoring, value-driven excellence that Randy Nyquist has brought to Stayton High School. I know he is too humble to say/show it...however it is evident in that team/program/every player's heart."
Athletes: When asking athletes questions about Coach Nyquist and his coaching, it is difficult to get them to stop talking. They utter phrases like "He is the best of the best. Super smart. He takes time with his players both on and off the field. He has changed the culture of Stayton to become a culture of winning. He is always checking on you. He is an academics first coach and is always stressing that. He wants us to be well-rounded. He is genuine. He makes us better people."
He makes us better people... isn't that what high school sports are all about? Yes, we like winning. Yes, sports are fun to play. Yes, we all learn by going through adversity that comes with competition. But making athletes better people is what will make the world a better place. Coach Nyquist makes kids better athletes, better communicators, and better people. Stayton High School is lucky to have an accomplished coach like Mr. Nyquist on staff here at SHS, but more importantly, we are lucky to have a man like Randy Nyquist influencing our lives.