Livin' the Dream: From Design Professional to Assistant Coach
Assistant Coach Nicasio Paquiz Jr. was a part-time assistant with the Green Bay volleyball program for the 2011 season. Before heading back home to Chicago, he took some time to share his thoughts on his "journey" into the coaching profession. Thank you to Nicasio for all his hard work and commitment this season and best of luck on your next step of your journey!
By Nicasio Paquiz Jr.
It's hard to believe that my time at Green Bay has come to an end; the past several months have passed by so quickly. But I can't forget how fortunate I was to even be here given the decision I made back in May to pursue college coaching full-time.
My path to coaching was one of chance; coaching volleyball was the last thing I ever thought I would do, but since taking my first job as a club volleyball coach in 1994, I haven't looked back. At first, it was a way for me to make some extra money while going to school. But something that started as a part-time job has now turned into a potential career option. The reality after college was coaching part-time wasn't going to pay the bills, so I needed to find a job within my major...but without neglecting volleyball of course! (I'm sure many can relate). So for the next 13 years, I made it an effort to balance both. After putting in an 8+ hour day, going to practice became an outlet for me; something I looked forward to at the end of the day. I don't know what it is about the environment, but I'm able to lose myself when in it; time goes by so quickly...maybe that's why Green Bay has flown by.
That was my life, and I was content. But as time went by, and I began to get more involved with the sport, I could sense myself 'wondering' and 'wanting.' I was fortunate to have success in both careers. To some that would have been enough, but for me, I felt like I was being unfair to those involved and to myself. I realized that I never was able to fully invest myself in one, and wondered how much more I could do if I simply chose. I've always admired those who followed their dream and made sacrifices to achieve it. "Do what makes you happy," truly applies here. And in the end, that's what I wanted to be - happy. It took some time for me to realize that coaching was what I wanted to do, but ultimately, I'm glad I found it. So when the opportunity presented itself this past May, I decided it was time to make that change.
I'm very grateful for the help and advice I received from my peers and colleagues, as they shared their thoughts with me about this profession and what to expect during my (re)search. Upon my arrival in Green Bay, I felt more aware and better prepared for what was to come. For those thinking about a career in coaching collegiate volleyball, understand that it's a change of lifestyle. I would not have been able to come to Green Bay had it not been for the support of my family & friends, not just emotionally, but financially, as well. Having a solid support system only makes the transition that much easier. Starting off as a volunteer assistant also helped me immensely. Not only is it a way to get your foot in the door, but the program will benefit from it as well. My volunteer position at DePaul gave me a taste of collegiate coaching.
Overall, my experience at Green Bay has been invaluable. The people & relationships that I have built will be unforgettable, and the knowledge I have gained will be just as rewarding as I move forward in my new career. I can honestly say that every day in Green Bay, I looked forward to coming to the KEC, just as I did going to the gym as a club coach. But one thing is different...I never say 'work' anymore because that is not how I perceive coaching. Someone once told me that he never worked a day in his life since he started coaching; I now share that same sentiment!
Thanks to all that made this possible!