I have known Jimmy Nolan for over five years now. We are good friends and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He is a man with great values and really cares for the young men he coaches and trains.
PJ (Groomsman) and Jimmy at “Nolan Bachelor Party 2008″
I first met Jimmy when my son and I decided to try a new training program. My son had worked out with programs like Cutting Edge, Velocity and MVP Sports, but, when we started with Jimmy we found a man that could relate not only to Pop Warner and High School kids, but, also trained College and Pro athletes.
His methodologies of training and coaching are simple. He earns the respect of the young men by teaching them winning ways and always to give there best effort. He gets these results by giving these young men the extra time they need and acting as a positive role model. PJ was all CIF, All County and All League for 3 years at Trabuco Hills High School.
I highly recommend Jimmy Nolan because he has the energy, values and winning attitude needed for success. Jimmy was a successful player himself at Mater Dei, Utah and on the professional level. His success as a player, coach and trainer has had the positive effect on many young men including my son, as he was highly responsible for positioning my son for a full scholarship at UC Davis for football.
-Peter J Vallier
Trabuco Hills Educational Endowment Association
My mentor, Jimmy Nolan, is not only an outstanding coach but an outstanding role model who has changed my life, along with many others. My name is Sean Gordon and I am a football player at Laguna Hills High School (not Laguna Beach where Jimmy coached).
I first met Jimmy when I was a junior at Laguna Hills. I was a 2nd string Tight-End, very slow, and wasn’t the player I wanted to be. Off the field I made many bad decisions. I met with Jimmy in January of 2007 and we laid out my goals.
Jimmy made me realize all the things that were holding me back. I always felt I had someone to talk to when things weren’t going right and he was always there for me during hard times.
The way Jimmy talks to his athletes is the most motivating and inspiring thing I have ever heard. With Jimmy this past off-season I worked harder than I ever had before. Jimmy helped push me to new limits where I had never been. As an athlete I feel being coached by someone who excelled in the game the way Jimmy did is an awesome thing. This past season I started at both Tight End and Defensive End earning 1st team All League at both, while earning 1st team All CIF at Defensive End. I was a Captain and shared with my team many things Jimmy had taught me.
Jimmy also expressed to me the importance of academics. The past two semesters I’ve had the highest GPA I’ve ever had at 3.75. I was also named to the National Football Foundation of Scholar Athletes Hall of Fame and will be honored at their yearly prestigious banquet. I truly believe that any athlete who has the opportunity of being coached by Jimmy Nolan is very fortunate.
Jimmy Nolan is a humble man with great character. I guarantee that Jimmy Nolan can and will turn anyone’s life, if given the opportunity. I am forever thankful for this man, without him I might have really screwed my life up.
As a football coach, being a leader is the most important aspect of the job. Sure win’s and losses are what everyone looks at, but in the game of High School football, the coaches’ job should be much more than the scoreboard.
Big Mike Cayhill 2 months before he left to fight for our country
With Jimmy Nolan we find that case. His goal is to change young mem’s lives, and not for 4 years, but forever. I have “trained” with Jimmy for over four years now. The greatest benefit that I received from being apart of his program is not that physical changes my body has, it is the mental state and the outlook on life that Jimmy has taught me. The life experience’s that Jimmy has gone through and can teach to young men such as myself, cannot have a price tag on them.
Back in August of 2005 I was a junior college football player with college scholarship aspirations. Unexpectedly my best friend died in a car accident, and I was lost, physically and mentally. I was team captain, and being recruited from many Division One schools that year. The coach at that school had given me no leeway with my situation. My relationship forever changed when I brought it up with Jimmy.
I had been working out with Jimmy for sometime, but never got into personal things. Show up and leave. But one desperate night when I could not sleep I emailed Jimmy at about 1 in the morning. Asking him for guidance, guidance does not even begin to describe what he gave me those following days. And like I said our relationship changed forever, because he had the same situation happen to him around the same age as me. Up to this point I knew no one who had to go through what I had to go through, so I was all on my own, until Jimmy informed me and helped me through it. I still have the email’s today (and if I had voice recordings I probably would still have those too) because that was such a huge moment in my life, and the time Jimmy spent on me not for any accolades, or money, or self promotions, but out of the want to better my life, is when Jimmy became not my personal trainer, but a life long friend and mentor.
Jimmy has bettered mine, and so many other kids lives, leaving positive footprints everywhere and everyone he touches. A high school football coach should be the blueprint of Jimmy Nolan. I hope to be rooting for Jimmy’s athletes in all coming years.
US Marine Corps
My name is Greg Arrellano. I met Coach Jimmy Nolan a while back. This man has taught me
how to handle, get through, and CONQUER anything. I’ve known Jimmy for almost 7 years now. His teachings and behavior towards me made me become the player and person I am today. He taught me “never accept mediocrity” and to “never settle.” Now I have learned to always reach for the stars and “once you’re there, its the starting line ~ be different! YOU tell yourself how good you are! Don’t let others set your limits! Prove the world wrong! Shock everyone, regardless of what “they” tell you…go further!”…and now that I’ve become a success in football, he’s teaching me “it’s not about what you’ve done, it’s about what you’re doing now and what you’re going to do.”
Jimmy, Jesse, and Greg posing after a typical day at SK
After playing Pop Warner, High School, and College football, I realize that there is no one else like Nolan around. I was part of a team that Jimmy took over, back when the school was going to drop our football program because no one wanted to play. We were considered to be losers. We never won and no one cared, including the students, faculty, and our surrounding city. I am most proud of my coach for standing up for us and making us who we became. No one will ever know how much respect and love Jimmy gave us.
When he left Cantwell to coach at Laguna, my family followed. My dad wanted me to stay under Jimmy Nolan’s guidance. Dad moved with me and commuted back ‘n forth to work in East LA, from Laguna…he’s a police sergeant in East LA. So, I was fortunate enough to be a part of LB and Cantwell’s years with Nolan. No one can really write about how the team feels about our coach…you need to speak to any of his former players or parents.
I was motivated by Nolan enough to get good grades and leave California to play football at Linfield College in Oregon (NCAA Champions 2004). I am on my way to a college degree and am fortunate to still play the sport that got me here, because of my coach. Jimmy understands the work his kids put in and he works overtime until each kid who wants to go to college has gotten there. The man really is all about teaching them about life, not just coaching football. Once Jimmy’s players are faced with a challenge they will rise. That is a common trait of Nolan’s teams. Jimmy teaches and has taught me to fight to make it in this world. He showed me how. He went through everything he teaches. He showed me the importance of what I need to do away from football.
The parents all admired him- when your son is on the football field there is a lot of risk involved. My family felt confident because I was trained for this battlefield by Nolan. On that field, there’s not only one battle, there are many; the fight for stamina, strength, speed and endurance. I was always the smallest guy on the field (5’5″ 156 lbs). Jimmy never let me believe I was small. So, I played like the biggest, on both sides of the ball (starting at running back and linebacker, earning 1st Team All League).
Jimmy’s a Fighter, Motivator, teacher, and a POSITIVE LEADER ~ nothing less. He gave me inspiration to be successful in life, both on and off the field. He really cared and wanted to see all of us succeed, even the guys that never played…even the people who hung around the team and other sports, and our girlfriends too. He cared for everyone at our school.
He’s not only my coach ~ he is family. He helped his community of Laguna Beach. Even more, he helped my community of Montebello and East LA by bringing his business Speed Kills there. There would be about 50 kids there every night training with Jimmy. These were guys who probably would have been running with gangs and making trouble. All the other schools in our area came to train with Jimmy too. You know what? This was his business…this was the way he made a living financially. And guess what? He never charged anyone out there a penny. The city loved that white boy! He is a giver. He never once thinks about himself …only what he could do to help others be better in life or sports. He will go broke, even if he has to buy the kids new cleats or clothes, before he thinks of feeding himself. I should know, he’s done that for me. He truly cares for every kid and will do anything he can to help them, and there’s no one like him that will sacrifice ALL of his time and energy just to see his players reach their goals!! He builds confidence, wisdom, and personal strength in us so we can go on to bigger and better things when football ends.
He taught me to stand up for what is right and what I believe in and to never say it can’t be done!!! In my opinion, that’s more useful knowledge than any Calculus Teacher can teach in a classroom! Since I’ve known him, all I can say is that I owe this man a lot for giving me all he had. Before I met him, I didn’t know the meaning of what it really was to be successful. I am well on my way because of my coach. By the way, that first year Jimmy came to Cantwell, we hadn’t won a game in years, and were picked to finish dead last – with Nolan in charge, we went UNDEFEATED, 10-0…and the same success happened again at LB.
My son, currently a sophomore at the U of Colorado, played four years of football at for 4 years of football, and was coached by Jimmy for his three years on Varsity. I’m sure that if asked who influenced him during his high school years, even 20 years from now, my son would say ‘Jimmy Nolan’. Jimmy commanded the respect of the kids, and besides his technical knowledge of the game, they looked to him for encouragement and leadership.
Laguna Beach has always had a terrible problem with kids abusing drugs/alcohol. Jimmy was incredible in the way he was able to turn our guys around 180 degrees and stay clean – wow! We owe our success to Jimmy! He put us on the map and gave our boys a newfound pride in their school and their health. As a parent and teacher, who has tried everything, I don’t know how he does it. It’s too bad our school district never acknowledged that Jimmy was a one man program, 100 times more effective than all the DARE stuff they wasted our money on.
“Just a bunch of surfers who dominated an undefeated League Championship (1st LB team EVER)”
The JestaRx Group
My name is Samson Jagoras. I just finished my senior season of football at the University of Colorado (Buffalos). We were Big 12 North Champions during my time spent in Boulder. I feel I have a lot of experience when it
comes to football coaches. Football is a place to learn to be a man, and to fight for something you are taught to believe in.
I met Jimmy Nolan while he was my head coach in the East/West 605 All Star Game, after my season at Arcadia High School. In an all star game, you are allowed only two weeks of practice prior to the game. I had a great career and many good coaches along the way before I made this game. I learned more in those two weeks under Jimmy Nolan about mentality, football, and life…more than I had learned the past 18 years growing up in a football world. I know 5-10 of the guys on that all star team still seek advice from Jimmy.
I stayed in touch with Jimmy after that game and to this day. Jimmy is the reason I ever played at Colorado. He is the reason I am excited about the sport. I met him at a time when I thought I was “burned out.” After being around the man, I was ready to run through a row of brick walls, and still am. He motivated me to walk-on at CU, trained me and taught what it would take, and got me ready physically and dominant mentally. I walked on, earned a scholarship, started, and was a team captain. Whenever I’ve had the opportunity to come home from college, the 1st thing I do after spending time with my family, is drive to OC to pay my respects to Jimmy. Often I’ll bring a handful of teammates home during spring or summer just to train with Jimmy. We’ll stay at his house as he teaches us not just football, but what it takes mentally to excel in this world. When we’re around the guy we become sponges and try to soak up anything he says.
We all agree that Colorado would be a better team if we had a trainer and coach like Jimmy. Jimmy Nolan would go to the wall for any one of his players. He is a modern day gladiator and fights for what he believes in. He is truly a SUCCESSFUL one-man-army in his fight to keep our youth away from drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex. It’s easy to talk in a game, and talk is cheap, which is exactly why Jimmy Nolan will never allow any of his players to talk smack…he taught me to “speak with my performance.“ He teaches me to work hard enough that when I enter a game I’ll have “no regrets, and no wasted talent”; calling it “earned confidence.” He defines the word “competitor.”
I doubt you’ll ever watch a team lead by Nolan lose in anything, even if the final score doesn’t indicate a win. Even in a loss, Jimmy’s teams win the respect of their opponents as each player plays far above his God-given-talent and leaves every ounce of energy on the field. Jimmy is the single best coach I have ever played for and that says a lot because I’ve played for some of the best coaches in the country. Jimmy was and still is an elite athlete who knows what it takes to win and how to maximize your potential. How many coaches can actually still practice what they preach? Jimmy dominated at the U of Utah, Played Arena, European ,boxes professionally and has the best speed and conditioning program in the nation (I’ve seen and tried them ALL). In terms of pain, dedication, and commitment, when comparing high school to college football- it’s a lot worse, more physical, and much more mentally straining…If Jimmy wasn’t my “life coach” during this difficult period, I don’t know if I would have came out on top.
It’s not just me who Jimmy has helped. If you hire him, you’ll notice how people from all over are drawn towards Jimmy. Athletes from everywhere come to see him, as he is not just a coach…he’s a friend that guides and helps. I feel honored he asked me to write a letter. I’m sure you’ll receive about 100 more of these, if he asks all his athletes to write.
Jimmy Nolan is not only the best coach I ever played for but is truly a friend. I would take a bullet for him. I don’t know if I’d be who I am today, if it wasn’t for him. He’s trained me, always given me and my teammates a place to stay, been my mentor, my idol, and is the one person who believed in me and helped me get to Colorado….and now he’s going to be one of the best men in my wedding!
I’d be happy to talk to you about Jimmy. Please do not hesitate to call me.
U. of Colorado
Jimmy Nolan has been working with students and athletes for over a decade. His dedication to the well-being and development of students has been the driving force of his career. As parents of two student athletes who succeeded academically and athletically, we are privileged to provide a letter of recommendation for Mr. Nolan.
Commitment to the improvement of student athletes is a very unique attribute. This is something that cannot be acquired with experience, it comes from the heart as an unselfish desire to see others succeed and prosper. Individuals with such a commitment are rare, but we believe that if you choose to have Jimmy mentor your son, you will acquire a coach and an educator with an altruistic devotion to his students.
Back in the day…Shawn Baker, Jimmy (fake tattoos), “CHUCK”, and Sammy Kotler
Jimmy’s dedication to his students continues for years. When our sons visit home from college, they still come to Jimmy’s camps and spend time just “hanging with Nolan.” For them to visit “Nolan” is a must. One of our son’s, who is now an educator himself, established Jimmy’s teaching and coaching techniques for his student athletes. To us it is simply incredible to see that one individual’s inspirations continue to thrive through his former students.
Mr. Nolan is highly respected by his students and assistant coaches for his willingness to help anyone anytime he can. He has been influential in helping inspire teenage kids to succeed on and off the field.
We feel that Jimmy has been a great influence on our children and we hope that many other children will have an opportunity to learn, grow and mature from the “Nolan” doctrine of perseverance, loyalty, dedication, and continued academic growth.
The Kotler Family
This letter is to recommend Jimmy Nolan as the best coach/friend/mentor one could ever have. Jimmy Nolan is the real deal: the only one I know to “talk the talk” AND “walk the walk” at the same time. Most coaches I’ve had talk about
the past when they supposedly did this and that…well shoot how would I know?…I wasn’t there. With Coach Nolan, I have seen it with my own eyes; truly inspiring. Coach Nolan needs to hear this from me and many other athletes like myself who he’s helped: whenever I think about how hard I need to be working, I always think of what Jimmy’s shown me – “true hard work produces results.”
I guess I could say I was in the “against all odds” position, like many of society’s students today. Jimmy was one of those guys too…but was able to make it as an athlete by overcoming odds, through living the right life and working hard, sacrifice, passion, and determination…and now he’s really inspired all of us by turning pro in boxing…he is a walking/talking inspiration story. Athletes from EVERYWHERE come to see Jimmy for advice, injury help, training, etc. I’ve never seen anyone who helps and motivates so many people.
There’s a poster in my room that reminds me of Jimmy: It’s this cliffhanger, at the peak of the highest mountain, holding his axe in the air – looking down at clouds and a bunch of other mountains…like that guy, I chose the highest peak by playing football at Texas, and didn’t stop until I reached the top, while fighting through victory and defeat; Jimmy taught me, “no regrets, no wasted talent.” Thanks to him, I reached and conquered my goals. A few years back I was “1 out of 150” walk-ons to make the U. of Texas Football Team…I’ll never forget my head coach called me into his office after tryouts and told me, “I don’t know this coach Jimmy Nolan personally, but you need to thank him, because if you are who he says you are, we need a kid with your character.” I am forever thankful for the opportunity Jimmy gave me, because he believed in me and showed me the way…the 1st year I made the squad, we had a great season and won the National Championship while beating my hometown, USC.
Jimmy also has taught me, “it isn’t what you’ve done, it’s what you’re doing now and what you’re going to do“…so I know there is a lot of hard work to be done ahead, and it never stops…but I stay inspired with the emails and phone calls Jimmy gives me. He’s taught me how to transform all these hard working football skills into LIFE skills. No one else I have ever met truly leads by example like this guy does…speak to anyone who knows him. Jimmy has shown me the way; “let the hardest worker win…I’ll have beaten my opponent before the game begins.”
Sincerely, Michael Flath, National Champion Texas Longhorns
My son, Bradley Wolf, played under Coach Jimmy Nolan at Laguna Beach High School. It was a WONDERFUL experience for Brad, his teammates and for the parents. Put simply, Jimmy Nolan inspires people. He took a rag-tag team and made it into a power against schools nearly 4x’s its size. When we played schools anywhere near our size, we won handily.
I’m sure you will hear from a variety of sources about Coach Nolan’s incredible coaching skills. I have a slightly different perspective that is often lost in a search for a top quality coach. Coach Nolan inspires both on and off the field. His focus on education was incredible. In addition to coaching on the field, he pushed the kids to succeed in the classroom. He knew their teachers, he knew their grades and he kept track of their other extracurricular activities and individual progress.
Armed with this knowledge, Coach Nolan also actively promoted his players to various colleges. Most coaches limit this promotion to the athleticism of the player, but not Coach Nolan. He promoted the person- the athletic promise plus the academic achievements and extracurricular honors. In short, he knew his kids, and promoted them as people looking at all aspects of their life.
The college recommendation that Coach Nolan wrote for my son Bradley was the most moving recommendation I have EVER READ. It showed that he knew my son and believed in him- highlighting all facets of Bradley’s life. The recommendation was so moving, and so powerful, that we received a letter back from the admissions director of an elite liberal arts college who advised that in his 25 years as admissions director, he had never read as good of a recommendation as the one given by Coach Nolan to Bradley. Yes, he was admitted to that school.
Bradley chose instead to go to Berkeley, and I am sure that Coach Nolan’s recommendation was a large part of his acceptance their as well. And the life lessons Coach Nolan instilled in Bradley have served him well in college.
Coach Nolan is a quality guy. You would be lucky to have him. Please feel free to call me should you have any questions.
Alan S. Wolf
Attorney at Law
The Wolf Firm, A Law Corporation
Attorneys to the Mortgage Banking Industry
I have known Jimmy since he was my son’s teacher. Certainly Jimmy knows how to win games, and his accomplishments as a coach are attested by our team winning its league title, for the 1st time in abut 50 years, as I recall. However, more importantly, through his coaching Jimmy produces strong, self-reliant and mindful human beings that are better prepared for life. He is tough, relentless and challenges them to attain their personal bests. He mentors them through their struggles and keeps them focused on their goals. He is young in mind and spirit, and he continues to compete and participate physically, therefore he does not rely on past accomplishments and must live by the standards he sets for his students. He understands all the temptations and distractions that affect that age group – be it partying, drugs, girls, self-esteem issues, family issues, money issues– and he is someone they can go to speak frankly about them.
These boys will work harder for Jimmy than for anyone. Mostly, I think, because Jimmy simply believes in each boy so strongly, each will dig deep to find the strength to come through for Jimmy, and in so doing each finds strength and self-respect he did not know he had Before Jimmy, the Laguna Beach team was characterized as “just a bunch of surfers” and football was not taken seriously. When he left, it was a source of pride.
Devin dominated league as LB surprised everyone during the ’06 championship
Jimmy has respect for all personal beliefs, and one should know that he comes from about the strongest Christian background one could find; his father was a former priest and his mother a former nun. I found him to be especially supportive when my son and other Catholic boys were going through the Confirmation process and a period of questioning their beliefs, or perhaps, being concerned as to whether it was “cool” to attend Bible Study, church, etc. Jimmy assured them it was “cool,” as well as important, and supported them in participating in the classes and ceremonies.
Being part of Jimmy’s group is a brotherhood, and its creed is one of personal accountability and self-respect. Jimmy’s style is one of service and it would not be characteristic of him to seek to step into a program that is already built and rest on others’ accomplishments. The best fit for him are the athletes that have not yet discovered their true potential, where he can do his best work, which is to inspire and motivate. I would encourage you to give strong consideration to Jimmy Nolan.
Please feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance.
Attorney at Law
I have many good things to say about Coach Jimmy Nolan.
To provide you with a little information about myself, I am a recent graduate student-athlete from Cal Poly Pomona where I competed in track and field. Just to include a little credibility on my part, I have led my team in points for the past two years, I was named MVP two years running, I am a two time defending conference champion in the 100m, received the freshmen of the year award in 2001, I am 3rd fastest athlete in Cal Poly history in the 100m (10.56) and 5th in the 200m (21.49). In high school (Fountain
Valley) Coach Nolan was my football position coach and our team’ head strength & agility coach. I played cornerback and graduated in 2001.
I have been involved in many sports in my life and have been through many coaches and I honestly believe that Jimmy is the type of mentor that will put forth all his energy to see an individual succeed in life. The biggest impact a coach can have on an athlete is the ability to inspire his athlete. Jimmy has the ability to make athletes thirst for positive results, whether it’s speaking to them or simply leading by example. Based upon Jimmy’s history of coaching, it has shown that he truly has the ability and commitment to change and improve a football program.
I would love to see him inspire other people as he did for me. I want every person that’s willing, to have a chance to work with a great mentor like Jimmy. There are many coaches who love athletics and coaching, but only a few coaches like Jimmy who are willing to do whatever it takes to make a change for the student-athletes lives. I know for a fact that Jimmy wants to provide athletes with the resources and knowledge that were not always available to him. He is the best motivator and the best inspirational speaker I have been coached by. If it were not for him I would not be in college and I would not have received the full scholarship I had. He made sure I went to college and did everything in his power to make it possible. He helped me grow into the man I am today and provided me with a path to take in life.
I hope you take my comments into consideration when searching for someone to help your child. Good luck in your search (you found the right guy!)
Please feel free to contact me at any time:
Assistant Track Coach- Short Sprinters/Relays
Cal Poly Pomona University
International Trade Assistant
U.S. Department of Commerce
I was first introduced to Jimmy seven or eight years ago when, at the time, he conducted training programs at my high school. As the team manager of the football team, I was impressed by the work Jimmy did with young adults but more so his passion for the game.
He served as a coach, mentor and role model. I was inspired by the fact that Jimmy’s presence went beyond the field. It was not out of the ordinary for Jimmy to give up a Friday night so that he could support his athletes at a game or take time to write recommendation letters and make phone calls to coaches on behalf of his athletes. I know these facts to be true as this is what I have witnessed Jimmy do for my brother Steve.
As a First Team All-County Nose Tackle, his size (5’11’’- 260 lbs) deterred many top colleges from recruiting him. Not only did Jimmy train my brother to become quicker, he more importantly saw the potential he had.
Jimmy’s Alma Mater, the University of Utah, was already scouting Steve but I believe Jimmy’s influence definitely helped to peak their interest. My brother signed with Utah in 2000 and had a successful five years with them; earning the coveted Defensive MVP Award during their memorable Fiesta Bowl appearance in 2005.
He went on to play one year of NFL Europe, in which his team the Frankfurt Galaxy made it to the World Bowl, and currently is part of the active New England Patriots roster.
My brother’s success story is common among Jimmy’s athletes. He has the special ability to see the potential and assist in helping further hone skills that his athletes already possess.
In today’s world we seldom come across people like Jimmy. Someone who can provide a young adult with confidence, strength, and then provide the right tools to succeed in the next level. I believe his athletes respond well to him because he creates an environment of
consistency; implementing the philosophy that dedication, hard work, and strength (both physical and mental) can conquer all.
There are many successful student-athletes excelling at their respective sports, benefiting from a higher education because of the tools they have acquired during their time with Jimmy.
I am confident Jimmy will exceed the standards for fulfilling the duties required of him but more importantly, a valuable asset to have in anyone’s life where education and integrity are valued and held to a higher standard.
Melevesi H. Fifita
I’ll start by introducing myself, my name is Frank Rivera. I am a boxing trainer -trained Olympians, World Champions, and been in coaching now for more than 25 years (know I have some credibility and have been around the world’s greatest athletes and coaches). …born and raised in East Los Angeles; have trained my boxers there and just about every other part of the country. I played high school football in Los Angeles a long time ago and played JC football at ELAC.
I’ve noticed those who KNOW Jimmy Nolan LOVE him. I trained my son how to play football before he started his 1st year of HS football at Cantwell High School in East LA. He was the smallest kid in school and not made for the sport. He would come home and brag about this new coach they had. I went to see what the fuss was about. Here was this happy white boy walking around our neighborhood with no fear, wearing some surfer shorts and acting like a care-free-clown. I kept my distance because I don’t give anyone my respect who hasn’t earned it.
An alumni of the school, I kept hearing things about this new coach: (1) he was white (2) everyone loved him, and (3) he declared he’d go undefeated when he arrived as a “1st time coach.” -and the team hadn’t won a game in almost 3 years. Hearing all this, the dude was starting to bother me. I watched the 1st game in hopes they’d get crushed…no…second game…no… third – forth – fifth…no…7-8-9 and 10…no. OK, the guy earned my respect. Undefeated 10-0.
I was in shock at how his boys played for him. This was a team of less than 20 and no size. I was in more shock at how these boys spoke of him…they would have taken a bullet for this guy; and even more impressive, they still would today (he keeps in touch with all his former players). In my personal experience, this was a true case of “don’t judge a book by the cover.” This roger rabbit look-alike had taken over my city. I thought I’d give him a chance. If my son could speak so highly of a varsity coach that didn’t even coach him (Josh was on the freshman team) I needed to find out what was up with this dude.
I said hello after the season after watching Monday Night Football give him an award on TV… Like I said I have been there and done that and seen all the trainers and great coaches there is to see. I have ran my boxing stables and done things my way for 25 years and produced Olympians and Champions…yet, for the 1st time, I invited someone to join me and asked for Jimmy’s assistance to help train my fighters. My boxer Jose Navarro had a chance of becoming WBC world champion. I thought he needed something new and different so Jimmy joined Team Navarro. He wouldn’t even let us pay him.
He and Jose hit it off right away and Jose had a new energy and passion about him that we were looking for. Something about Jimmy motivated Jose to become a new person, with a better mentality. I am not going to go into much more detail about how Jimmy does what he does. It is a gift. I will summarize it at this- if given the opportunity to learn from Jimmy or spend time with him, just listen and follow. The man has something special.
After making a great career for myself in Los Angeles with my boxing credentials and accomplishments, I decided to follow Nolan to Laguna Beach when he decided to leave East LA. Why would I move from the place I spent the past 43 years? I was willing to do whatever it took to keep my son in his program. Several others did the same thing. They had the right to learn from who they want to. They did not move to LB to win games. We all knew LB does not have a winning team. They moved families to have their sons learn from Nolan and become great young men. CIF said we must move so we all moved. We started new lives. If a kid can decide where he goes to college why cant we do the same in high school? My son sat the bench for two seasons for LB. He got in on a kickoff occasionally. So understand it was not for the athletics. It was for Jimmy Nolan. It is the way he molds these youths into such winners in life.
Having spent so much time with Jimmy I am blown away at the respect and admiration people have for him. Everyone who gets to know him- Blacks, Mexicans, Vietnamese, Samoans, even some crazy Irish mafia at the Marriott Ballroom Boxing. Jimmy has clicks everywhere. They follow him- little kids and old. Athletes of all sports from top colleges and NFL teams will come by all the time just to spend time around Nolan.
Some of top high school athletes in LA and OC would come to LBHS to spend a Thursday evening with Jimmy before they played their football game on Friday night, just for confidence or to get help with an injury. During spring vacation or summer, it’s common to find a player flying out for a week just to see Jimmy. He’ll house them for free and feed them.
Jimmy is in a class all alone.
To call him a good coach is an understatement. He is a phenomenal human being. Envious people resent Jimmy because he gets so much love and respect, and no one can understand how one guy can have such an impact on so many people.
WHY? -All the guy does is help people.
My phone number is (323) 712 – 0801.
Respect and Honor,