Nylander turns Wildcat
By Misty Volaski
When Nate Nylander applied for
the job as sophomore social studies teacher and boys' varsity
basketball coach at Villanova Preparatory, he didn't think he
was qualified enough. The 25-year-old Nordhoff graduate, who
had majored in history and minored in sports coaching at the
University of California at Santa Barbara, had plenty of coaching
experience, but not in the position of varsity head coach.
But VPS headmaster Tony Sabatino and athletic director Tom Roanhouse
seemed to think differently, and hired Nylander for both of the
"He was an outstanding candidate," said Sabatino. "He's
refreshing in that he's very well-trained. He's an educator.
This is a faith-based school, and he's a faith-based educator."
Nylander agreed. "It's a great place. Villanova is just
exactly where I need to be," said Nylander. "And I
am a Christian, and God is at the center of the school."
Nylander has coaching experience across Ventura County. He was
the assistant basketball coach for junior varsity at Nordhoff
from 1998 to 2001. From there, he moved on to Oaks Christian
for a year before returning to the valley to be an assistant
coach under Mike Probyn for the varsity squad at NHS. He also
coached several club and youth teams, and is currently a physical
education teacher at Topa Topa School.
Nylander added that the transition to a new school will be easier,
thanks to his coaching assistant, 2001 NHS graduate Matt Murphy.
The two of them have played and coached together for several
"I got a great assistant in Matt Murphy," said Nylander.
"Matt's just an amazing coach. He'll make that transition
(to VPS) that much easier."
The Nylander family is well-known in the Ojai Valley for their
athletic talents - Nate lettered two years at NHS, while brothers
Noah and Micah and sister Sarah have dominated their respective
varsity basketball squads and set numerous records as Rangers.
But Sabatino insists that the Nylander name had nothing to do
with his hiring. In fact, he said, they hadn't even heard of
"Nate stood alone on his own merits," said Sabatino.
"He's exactly what we were loking for. One of the things
that impressed us the most was that he was qualified as both
a teacher and a coach. His strengths in teaching are as strong
as his strengths in coaching."
And Nylander's already looking to the 2003-2004 basketball season.
Though he hasn't met his team yet, he's already planning strategies
for next year. "We're gonna start with defense, and build
a very tough defense," he said. "We want to get up
and down the floor as much as possible."
The Ojai Valley News
to the news
MATT MURPHY AND NATE Nylander will join forces to coach varsity
boys' basketball at Villanova. Nylander, right, recently accepted
the position of VPS head coach and social studies teacher.