Meet the Head Football Coach – Nick Straka

OPH Football Coach Nick Straka

Zoey Rinesmith

OPH Football Coach Nick Straka

Gavin Postlewaite, Contributor

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Coach Straka for almost three years. He first came to OPH my sophomore year and was an assistant coach. Throughout OPH’s history there have been a lot of coaches come and go. Coach Straka has never run from the fight and has now been the head coach for 2 years.  A great way to describe him would be selfless and passionate. He’s a do anything for you type of guy and just has a great outlook on life. I got the opportunity to interview Coach about himself and football, to give everyone a chance to learn more about him.

Nick Straka grew up in Bridgeport. He started playing football in 5th grade, but he said, “When I was younger I was actually a hockey guy.” After high school football, he went on to play for Milikin University as a wide receiver and study kinesiology. He says “I’ve got a wife, Whitley, and we just celebrated our five year wedding anniversary. We’ve actually been together for eight years,  and I’ve known her pretty much my whole life. We just had our second son, his name is Boyd.  Our first child Boone is going to be four on November 7th, he just started Pre-K. We live in Robinson currently and just bought a new house; so hopefully we’ll be moving into that soon.” He loves football because, “It is easily relatable to life. In the game of football you have adversity, moments of strife, and moments of triumph, just as you would in life. It’s just taught me so much and given me opportunity.” Now as he’s older he wants to give back. His reasons for coaching are, “I coached primarily because I want to develop young men and women. I just want to help shape and mold you guys to be good people, good leaders, and just good individuals.” His goals for the current season and plans for the future are, “For starters, I want to start changing towards being a program, a culture. I mean cut out all the strife. Cut out all the 1 school, 2 school, 3 schools. Make it not so much just Pioneers, just Panthers, or just Tigers; and really start building this thing again from the ground up. I want to show people that it’s going to take hard work, it’s going to take diligence, and it’s just going to take a lot of hard work; hopefully along the way we can find some people that they want to be a part of that.” He says the perfect football player is, “Someone who doesn’t just seek to understand the game on the surface, but seeks to understand the why and the purpose behind what we do; and knows that each person has a role, and that role, if the failed, affects the team. You got to have a guy or gal with a big heart, eager to learn, and just eager to play. At the end of the day that’s what it takes.” He thinks everyone should play football, even females too. 

Thank you, Coach Straka.