DUBLIN, GEORGIA: For the first time since 2006, the Dublin High School Fighting Irish football team stood on the platform to claim the Georgia High School Association 2A State Championship.
After defeating the Brooks County High School Trojans, 42-32, the boys in green from Dublin celebrated.
Dublin High School’s Fighting Irish Defensive Coordinator Nick Collins, age 50, carried a big smile on his face after his Fighting Irish team defeated the Brooks County High School Trojans, 42-32.
Collins, who received his bachelor of science in health and Human Performance and his masters in health education from Prairie View A&M University, and his education specialist from Nova Southeastern University, was a part of the championship team in the early 2000s for Dublin as well.
His coaching career began in 1996 at his Alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. He came to Georgia in 1998 where he coached the running backs, defensive line and served as special teams’ coordinator at Middle Georgia College in Cochran, then went on to coach the running backs at Jefferson County High School in Louisville, Georgia, linebackers at Northside High School in Warner Robins and was the assistant head coach in Dublin from 2004-2006.
Collins was named head football coach at Newton High School, a recruiting coordinator/wide receiver coach at Point University in 2011, and then later coached the wide receivers at Upson Lee High School, defensive backs at Griffin High School and was the defensive coordinator at Creekside High School. Before coming back to Dublin two years ago, he was named the head coach at Glenn Hills in August.
For him, the two state championships at Dublin High School are a part of his favorite career highlights.
“And being named the head coach at both Newton and Glenn Hills, but most of all the growth of all the young men and women I have the pleasure to teach and coach.”
Happily married to Ericka and the proud father of Isiah, Alex, Justin and M’Kaya, Collins remembers the first time he “fell in love with football.”
“I think when I was around six, my cousin, Mark, introduced me to card collecting, and ever since I got my first card, a 1976 Ed White Topps®, I have been hooked.,” he said.
Football has taught Collins a lot. “As a player, I learned how to work with others, and how to organize and manage,” he said. “As a coach I have learned how to adapt. I have had the pleasure of working and living in several states and cities, and in most cases I moved not knowing anyone, and not only did I have to adapt to a new environment, but a new team with its own unique characteristics.”
Another life lesson that Collins has gained from football is about faith.
“Faith plays a major role in my position as a life-changer, which I believe coaching is, I’m not sure if you can measure your faith versus Abraham’s, when he was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac,” Collins explained.
“Abraham had so much faith that he believed even if he sacrificed his son that God would bring him back from the dead, I strive for that type of faith. I simply try to share with my players what belief can do for them.”
When asked if there was any misconception about high school and college football and coaching he would want to clear up, Collins thought for a moment.
“I think the belief that players are being used,” Collins stated. “High school players generally play for the love of the game, but stand to gain a lot from the athlete,s ability to perform at a high level … when they do, they trade their ability to play for an opportunity to get a degree … the trade off may not be equal in most people’s eyes, but most deals aren’t 50/50.”
As a way of sharing news with his football players and parents, Collins has utilized social media. He has a page called Nick Collins Football.
He explained, “The purpose was really to have a place where I could post football related material for my players and parents could go and see the information and pictures I post.”
“I don’t accept those type of friend requests on my personal page. The feedback has been awesome,” Collins smiled. “I’m always amazed when I see people take the pictures I create and put them on t-shirts or to get request to create a picture for someone.”
As per a favorite quote that he shares and uses as motivation, Collins looked toward the Carthaginian leader, Hannibal. “We will either find a way or make a way.”
Good advice … Keep on keeping on, Coach C!