February 19, 2019—Shaker Heights Schools is pleased to announce that Alex Nicholson has been named Head Coach of the High School Varsity Football Team. Mr. Nicholson will also work as a teacher at Shaker Heights High School, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.
Mr. Nicholson was chosen after an extensive interview process that included a panel of teachers, administrators, counselors and parents (Middle School and High School), alumni and current and former Shaker football players.
Since 2016, Mr. Nicholson has served as a coach for the Charles F. Brush High School football program in Lyndhurst. He began as a Run Game Coordinator and last year, was promoted to Associate Head Coach. In this role, he planned the direction of the Middle School, Freshman, Junior Varsity and Varsity programs, coordinated fundraising efforts, planned and hosted coaching clinics and monitored player eligibility. Mr. Nicholson also has worked as an Intervention Specialist at Charles F. Brush High School since 2016. In addition, Mr. Nicholson has worked as a teacher and/or football, basketball and wrestling coach at St. Charles (Ill.) North High School, Chicago’s Perspectives Middle Academy and Math and Science Academy and Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Luis Munoz Marin School.
A graduate of Carroll College in Waukesha, Wis., Mr. Nicholson earned a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Management and was a member of the school’s varsity football team. He earned his Master of Science in Education from Quincy University (Ill.), with a concentration in Special Education.
“We’re very excited that Mr. Nicholson will be joining our High School staff as the head football coach and as a teacher,” says Interim High School Principal David Glasner. “He will be a valuable asset and visible presence at the High School every day, which is a positive change for this position. We look forward to this new beginning for our football program.”
During the interview process, Mr. Nicholson met with a small group of our football players, who shared that they wanted a coach who would create a culture of discipline and accountability. “Being in the building allows me to check up on our student-athletes’ grades, behavior and other needs. Our student-athletes deal with a wide array of issues and may face different adversity on a daily basis,” Mr. Nicholson explains. “The two most important jobs we have as football coaches are to create a culture that brings out the best version of our student-athletes and to prepare them for their next journey in life.”
Mr. Nicholson already has presented a five-year plan, which includes goals related to the team’s culture and community, as well as benchmarks for increasing the number of players who achieve a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, building the Middle School program, reaching out to football alumni and competing for conference, regional and state titles.
“My number one goal during my first year, and every year, as a coach is to provide the very best High School football experience the Shaker Heights City School District can offer,” Mr. Nicholson says. “Anything less and we are doing a disservice to our student-athletes and the Shaker Heights community.”