Will Nahan Ecstatic to be New Man in Randolph

RANDOLPH, NJ – For decades, Randolph Rams football continues to leave a lasting legacy. Rams football has a long history that includes it’s infamous 49-0 run during the late 1980’s and early 1990s. Each football class that walks through the doors of Randolph High School puts in as much work as they can with hopes of adding their footsteps onto an already-established path of greatness.

Last week, Randolph football promoted defensive coordinator Will Nahan to the head coaching job in confident step to add on to the program’s overall success. Nahan was an assistant with Randolph for the last three seasons, and has taught health and physical education at RHS for the last two. A linebacker and fullback at Lawrence High School (Central Jersey, Group 3) in Mercer County, the Rams’ new coach was also actively involved with the student government, as he served as his class vice president. He also played basketball and “big into the weight room”, as he explained.

In addition to teaching and coaching at RHS, he also runs the after school lifting program. Nahan often brings both boys and girls teams into the weight room and works with them closely, in addition to inviting any students interested to come and lift after school. “My love for the weight room started in high school, which gave me the passion to run after school lifts here”, he explained.

Nahan also pointed out the great football program that Lawrence had when he was in high school. During his four seasons there, from 2005-2008, the Cardinals compiled a 33-7 record. They continually reached states, and Nahan was a captain during his senior year.

After graduating from Kean University in 2013, where he played football, he applied for various football jobs, and the Gottesman RTW Academy in Randolph was the first to give him an opportunity. He coached some of their middle school sports teams and was the K-8 physical education teacher. In 2014, he got another gig with nearby Dover High School, where he was the defensive and offensive line coach. Being from Mercer County, a football coach from the neighboring town of Trenton, Tarig Holman, had recently accepted a head coaching job from Randolph High School, his alma mater. “Using football connections, I was put in touch with Coach Holman. He needed a linebacker coach, so he interviewed me, and I got the job”, Nahan explained.

Coach Nahan is a big believer that weight training leads to success on the field and has already indoctrinated the current players into that mindset (photo by Shane Connuck).

During his first year at RHS, in 2015, he assisted with all three football teams and built the aforementioned strength and conditioning program. Then, amid the retirement of a physical education teacher, he was offered a full-time teaching job at the high school the following season. Nahan was ecstatic to work at Randolph High School full-time, as he aspires to help “not just the football team, but everyone”.

In addition to his football playing and coaching careers, he also remains involved with various charitable organizations, such as Operation Smile, which raises money for children born with clefts.

He tries to take after many of the coaches that he has worked with, such as his college coach, Dan Garrett. Former Randolph coach Tarig Holman “showed a new perspective of how to coach and manage a team, particularly with his energy”. Nahan also admires legendary football coach Bill Parcells, and aspires to do something new each year with his teams.

The upcoming season is going to be a particularly special one for Nahan, as it is not only his first head coaching job, but the class of 2019 will be the first class that he sees develop throughout their entire high school careers, from freshmen to seniors. “It will be amazing to see the transition they have made as men, students, and football players. Just a short time ago, I saw these guys playing in Saturday, 9:00 a.m. freshman games, and now, many of them will be two-year varsity players”. The Rams have over fifteen returning seniors next year, and their loyalty to the program is something that impresses Nahan.

The players are just as excited as anyone that Nahan is becoming their head coach. Upcoming senior wide receiver, safety, and punter Jacob Flowers noted that he “has moved up the ranks with us. Now it’s our senior year and he’s head coach, and no one will work harder than him to help us win”.

Incoming senior quarterback Anthony Sofia believes that “there is no one better for the job. Coach Nahan came into the program my freshman year and has had such an influence on me becoming who I am today on and off the field. Throughout the winter I was afraid that a brand new coach would come into the program and basically start everything from scratch, but after learning that Nahan got the spot I knew that the Randolph football program will continue to succeed under the leadership of Coach Nahan”.

With the excitement of Nahan guiding the Rams, the future is bright in Randolph. Flowers said that the team is “feeling good”, and that they “have a lot of experience and talent everywhere. But it’s not that easy. We need to grind this summer and put the pieces together”. Sofia “cannot wait for next season to begin”. Sofia quarterbacked the freshman team in 2015, and the JV team in 2016 before backing up two-year starter Justin Suarez, who will be continuing his football career at Gettysburg University. He realizes that next season will be his time to play. “I have been working hard in the weight room, becoming better and I am ready to lead this team. Everything that I have done has been for my brothers on the team and Randolph football is a family. The work never stops and the only way to become better is to put your full heart into it. Being a quarterback is more than just passing and handing off. It is about leading and taking control so others will follow. The whole team feels Coach Nahan creates that kind of culture”.

The Randolph Rams are ready for 2018, with a new coach and the same mindset.

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