Award-winning Marengo cager coach listened to his dad, in a way
Nathan Wright's dad saw it coming years ago.
“My dad always said, 'You'll probably end up as a teacher and a coach when it's all said and done,' and that's what happened,” Wright told the McHenry Times.
While deciding on his college path years ago, Wright had been accepted into the University of Illinois' aeronautical engineering program but then went to Knox College to play basketball and switched his major to math. That began a course that his father, Chuck — a longtime coach himself — said his son would go on.
The aeronautical-engineering world's loss has been Marengo High School's (MHS) gain. In the midst of a successful run as the boys basketball coach, Wright was named a Coach of the Year by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association recently.
Wright led the Indians to a 25-8 record last season, which included a berth in the Class 3A Super-Sectionals. It was the third straight season of 21 or more wins for MHS under Wright, who has a 73-22 record in three years in charge of the program, according to records he provided.
“Anytime that you get selected by some other coaches for an honor like that, obviously that's a very humbling situation,” Wright said. “There's a lot of great coaches in the area, and you get picked amongst all these guys who put a lot of time in their craft -- it's a big honor to get something like that, and it's kind of humbling in the fact that you have people that recognize some of the hard work you've done and the great season you've had.”
Wright added that he is a small part of it all because “the kids got to go out there and do all the work.”
Wright, who has 14 years of coaching experience — 10 at MHS — and two brothers who are coaches, said he loves the challenges coaching presents to bring together different people as a team focused on one goal.
“I know that sounds cliché, but that's tough for high school kids to do,” Wright said. “And the grind to get them working and to work together and being good teammates to accomplish that goal is easier said than done sometimes. So I think that it's a challenge every year. You have a new set of kids and a new set of personalities that you've got to find a way to kind of make into one team.”
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110 Franks Rd
Marengo, IL 60152