When Nick Flanagan was named as Randolph's new head football coach this summer, he became the youngest head football coach in the state of Alabama.
Coach Flanagan eagerly took over for Eddie Guth, who has gone on to be Athletic Director at Darlington School. Asked why he chose coaching as his career, Coach Flanagan stated, “I coach to use my platform to help the younger generation succeed outside the field as much as on. Coaching allows me to reach more lives than in any other profession there is.”
Coach Flanagan takes over a program that has won four games in each of the last two seasons, but has yet to qualify for the state playoffs. Coach Flanagan and the team have set a goal to “Play in November” which would put them playing in the state play-offs. However, when Coach Flanagan was asked how we would measure the season’s success, he responded by saying, “I don’t think I can measure success based on a season. I think if I’m successful as a coach, it will come down the road when our guys use what we taught them on the football field in their everyday lives.”
"If I’m successful as a coach, it will come down the road when our guys use what we taught them on the football field in their everyday lives."
“Coach Steve Mask was very, very influential to me. He inspired me to go into coaching. He showed me how to make an impact, how to love the kids, how to always put the kids first, and that you have to prepare each and every week. He taught me more about life through football than he did about football.”
Through Coach Mask’s influence, Coach Flanagan has created his coaching philosophy. He stated, “My coaching philosophy is every single day, no matter the ups and downs, no matter the wins and losses, everything we do from the time we wake up to the time we leave that practice field, it is for the kids' purpose only. They’re always at the front; they’re always at the beginning of every decision we make.”
Coach Flanagan has had to juggle a very busy schedule since being named the head football coach, but he has not let it overshadow his new bride, Jessica, whom he married in July. When asked how he has handled being named the head football coach and being a newlywed, his response was, “Well, it’s been tough, very tough. I’ve always tried to make sure to set aside an hour a day where we don’t talk about football, we don’t talk about school, we don’t talk about things that went right or went wrong. We talk about each other. We laugh. We find something funny to watch. Last night, we watched Frozen. I’m always trying to make sure that I give her an hour every day that is just hers.”
The team, Coach Flanagan, and the staff have been working extremely hard to prepare for the upcoming season. Each Friday night, the team will walk on the field and represent Randolph in a first-class manner under a first-class head coach. The future is bright for Randolph football.
Photos by Blake Davenport, Blake Killen and Ryan Weglage taken on the day of the team's first game, played at Birmingham-Southern College on August 28, a joint fundraiser with Montgomery Academy for Children's Hospital. Together, the two schools raised $3,000. The Raiders won, 14-6. You can read more about the game here.