News & Events

Building Future Leaders on the Gridiron

The Gainesville Times- Robert Alfonso Jr.
SERIES: Riverside Military Football Coach Nick Garrett Building Future Leaders on the Gridiron.
Nick Garrett is more than a high school football coach. 

He is in the people business and humbled in being a part of helping change people’s lives.
The Oxnard, California native has had a long journey through the coaching profession. 

His career started during his final season in college, in Iowa, and continues now at Riverside Military Academy. 
While the lessons and experiences have been valuable, Garrett has built his career on building relationships that have transcended beyond the football field.

“I am not always caught up in the win-lose column: that’s transitional,” he said. “What I am going to master is setting guys up for the rest of their lives. I tell parents, ‘I will improve your young man when they come play for me and prepare them for the rest of their lives.’”

The Eagles (1-2) are preparing to host Toombs County at 7:30 pm Friday at Maginnis Field.

Garrett, 41, took the job in 2017 after interviewing and getting a call from good friend Jason Pleasant, who was recently named the Eagles’ boys basketball coach. 

The Eagles football coach was not sure about moving to Georgia. He was at Santa Clara High School, which was a private faith-based institution. 

Garrett was in no rush to leave and nearly did not fly to the Peach State for the interview. However, Pleasant refused to let up. 

Pleasant insisted his friend come for the interview. 

Garrett asked all the questions about the school and program. 

He noticed the amount of turnover on players and teachers associated with the military program. 
Garrett noticed the Eagles best-ever season was in 2005, the year her graduated from Graceland College (Iowa).

He interviewed for the position at the private military school in Gainesville. 

The humble Garrett was not sure if he would get it because he was one of two out-of-state candidates interviewing for the job of a total of 75 coaches who applied. 

In short, he nailed the interview and called the principal at Santa Clara, but made sure to finish leaving the program in a better condition. 

Understanding military lifestyle was not new to Garrett. His grandfather served two tours in the World War II, while his dad was a reserve in the Army.

“My dad was a firm hand (shake) and steel-toe boot guy,” he said. “My grandfather was ‘Yes Sir, No Sir!”
These are things he is helping emphasize with his players. 

Garrett’s record since taking over the Riverside Military’s program is 13-19. 

This veteran coach considers himself a national champion when it comes to the most important part of a football team.

“Relationship wise, I am a national champion every year,” Garrett said. “Whatever standard you have, for your child, I will re-enforce them across the street (on the football field). The football stuff will come, it is a by product of that (relationships) It really is not that hard.”

Read the article on The Gainesville Times:
    • Photo by Bill Murphy