At 30 years old, Ohio State’s second-year head lacrosse coach Nick Myers is living his dream.
“I still pinch myself occasionally driving in each morning knowing that I am the head coach at Ohio State,” Myers said. “It’s very special to me.”
On July 10, 2008, Myers became the 13th head coach of the OSU lacrosse program. He spent the previous three seasons as the Buckeyes’ top assistant.
It was during those three years and two other seasons as a volunteer assistant under former coach Joe Breschi when Myers grew and learned how to coach.
“Watching Nick develop from a young 24-year-old volunteer assistant into the head coach is great to see,” said Breschi, who is currently the coach at the University of North Carolina.
In between his two assistant coaching jobs at OSU, Myers spent two seasons as the top assistant coach at Butler University.
In his first year, Myers lead OSU to a 7-7 regular season record and the team advanced to the championship game in the Great Western Lacrosse League tournament.
This year the team has a 6-6 record overall and is 2-3 in its new conference, the Eastern College Athletic Conference.
When the team’s three senior captains Scott Foreman, Brandon Freeman and Andrew Stimmel talked about their coach, the one word they all used to describe him was “passionate.”
Freeman said that Myers always brings high energy and passion to games and practices. Stimmel said that Myers pushes the players both on and off the field.
“Nick has tremendous attention to detail, energy and passion for the game of lacrosse,” said Pat Myers, Nick’s brother and assistant coach at the University of North Carolina.
Nick Myers’ stepfather introduced him to lacrosse, and Nick said he got his first look at a lacrosse stick as an eighth-grader.
“For me it was a passion that I developed quickly,” Myers said. “It’s a game that is unique in a sense where it combines so many aspects of not only athleticism, but speed and scoring.”
In high school, Myers was a two-time All-American and represented his home state of Maine in the 1997 North-South All-Star game.
Myers was also a Division III All-American playing for Springfield College in Massachusetts, where he earned a degree in sports studies and physical education.
After college, Myers came to OSU to be a volunteer assistant coach.
“I knew financially it would be a burden,” Myers said. “I worked a couple of different jobs but it was so valuable, the time with coach Breschi, this staff and this family.”
In Columbus, Nick joined his brother Pat who was playing lacrosse for the Buckeyes.
“The chance to be with my brother for two years was really fun, too,” Nick Myers said. “We had a lot of fun together. I enjoyed coaching him.”
In addition to on-the-field performance, Myers has the team set goals off the field as well.
“At the beginning of the year we talk about family, academics and lacrosse,” Myers said. “We give a player handbook similar to what coach [Jim] Tressel has done with his ‘Winner’s Manual.'”
This year, the team has achieved academic goals with a team grade point average of over 3.0. It also had 26 scholar athletes last quarter. The team also has contributed more than 600 hours of community service, beating its preseason goal of 500 hours.
“Nick recognizes that playing lacrosse for Ohio State is a special honor, and is a privilege not a right,” Pat Myers said. “Lacrosse is secondary to the OSU lacrosse family and the academic aspect of the OSU lacrosse program.”
Nick Myers has found a home in Columbus and at OSU. His face lit up as he said that he and his wife are expecting their first child this month.
“I really feel like in a lot of ways this is where I have grown up. It is a place where I am very connected to through my family,” Myers said. “This athletic department is the finest in the country and it is very humbling at a young age to just be a part of it.”