It was the beginning of a new era on Tuesday afternoon when Nick Wade was introduced as the new men's basketball coach to both fans and alumni of Angelina College.
Wade had served the last two years as an assistant for former AC head coach Kyle Manary. Last month, Manary announced he was steeping down from the spot he held for two seasons. The search for a new coach began immediately. It did not take long for Athletic Director Guy Davis to find his new coach.
"I do not take anything for granted," Wade said. "There are a lot of good coaches out there. I never really thought it was mine. All I knew is that I was going to work as hard as I could for it and let the work speak for itself."
Before landing the assistant job at Angelina College, Wade was an assistant for three years at lee College. He played his college ball at Austin College up in Sherman and before that attended St.Thomas High School in Houston.
If anyone knows basketball it is Davis. Davis had no problem handing over the program to Wade.
"I am good friends with the coach at Lee," Davis said. "I asked him what does Nick need and he said, 'A chance like you and I had a few years ago.'"
The approval was touching to Wade.
"It meant a lot to have him sign off on me," Wade said. "This past season we named the floor after Guy and Dorothy and I just remember thinking I want to be the guy here. I want to be like Davis."
Davis did make it clear that just like he has done before he will sit back and watch.
"I told him, 'I am not here to do anything but my job which is to make your easier any way I can,'" Davis said. "I am up there in the office and you are on the floor."
One of the big things for the school is to be part of the community. It is not uncommon to see the players at high school games or in the class room reading to elementary kids.
"That is something we started a few years ago and I want to keep it going and even improve on it," Wade said. "What I really want to do is get in with the principals and the superintendents and see what is best for the kids and how we can help them the best."
Davis said Wade's involvement with the community played a big role in the hire.
"He is community oriented," Davis said. "You see it with his family . You see it with the young students. You see it with our campus. He loves being a part of this place."
Wade did not give out a full game plan but he did say fans can expect some exciting basketball.
"You cannot count out these kids here," Wade said. "You see it at the high school level and the youth level. i think of the Thundering 13 where people counted them out and they just kept fighting and didn't give up. being from Lufkin you just can't count them out. I think that is going to be the feeling from our fans when they come."
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