Nill reflects time on campus

Sheldon Gargano – Contributor

Track and field Coach Brian Nill wasn’t too sure at first if he wanted to stay around after he graduated to become a coach for his alma mater. 

Nill was a former 800-meter runner who earned All-American Honors in Division 2 here at Southern Connecticut in 2013 and made that transition in 2015 to coach. 

“I ended up talking to coach Wallin and we discussed coaching, but it wasn’t set in stone once I graduated but having those conversations with him kind of made me realize, yeah I think this is the direction I might want to go,” said Nill. 

Although he coaches long-distance runners, some field athletes still had appreciation for who he is as a coach. 

Cameron Belton, senior, shot put & discus thrower said, “I believe he’s a good coach because he really pays attention to how I’m training along with everyone else and so he knows when to increase the intensity and when to pull back, he’s someone I can trust when I need advice as well”. 

As a coach making an impact on their athlete’s life can be a feel-good moment when trying to steer them in the right direction and that’s an attitude coach Nill enjoys very much. 

“In the relationship between academics and athletics we recognize STUDENT-athlete, the academic side of things then the athletic part. Teaching that and letting them know that having & getting a degree in something is going to help you afterward,” he said. 

Nill liked to emphasize that putting people in the best positions to succeed was key to him because everything is done through a process. Whether it’s on the track or in the classroom. 

Natanael Barbosa-Torres said, “I think coach Nill is a good person who cares a lot about his athletes and his job. He gives us his best foot forward every day and it shows in the results we produce”. 

Coach knows how to work with athletes because he knows everyone responds differently. 

He said, “not every kid is motivated by the same things. Some need to get stern talking to be pushed more than others while some kids are self-motivated, and some kids look at it as-I want to be this type of person- and here’s what I need to do to get to where I want to be”. 

Nill understands since he was once an athlete that things get hard but if you take the right steps you’ll get to where you want to be. He spoke on how he struggled at times with focusing on that academic side of student-athlete at first, but soon figured it out because Track was and still is important to him. 

Although he has acquired a few accolades so far in his early coaching career he still looks to improve in his coaching skills because he always looks to get better not only for himself but so his athletes can have that better understanding whether it’s in the weight room or out on the track or field. 

“I think the most important thing is that we’re making sure that kids are enjoying their time here, because we want to give you an experience where you can tell your friends and your family this is place you want to come and this is where you want to be,” said Coach Nill. 

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