By Todd Shanesy
Spartanburg Herald Journal Staff Writer
Longtime Wofford offensive line coach lands job as athletics director at Greenville school
Eric Nash stood at the back of a room last December and had tears in his eyes as he watched the official retirement announcement of legendary Wofford football coach Mike Ayers.
Some of that emotion, Nash admitted, was for his own uncertain future.
Nash had been offensive line coach at Wofford for 15 years, a career which began just one year after finishing as a standout player (three-time All-Southern Conference) for the Terriers.
“It was something I hadn’t needed to deal with,” Nash said. “Coach Ayers was always going to be there — until that day. And for the first time since I started a family, I was worried.”
Nash’s fears were realized. He wanted to follow Ayers as head coach at Wofford, didn’t get the job and ultimately had to part ways with his beloved alma mater, details of which he did not want to share.
“It was disappointing,” he said. “I’ll leave it at that.”
But less than two months later, a time spent praying and leaning on his Catholic faith, another door opened. Nash is the next athletics director at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville. He has already been working with R.J. Beach, who will retire from that position on June 1.
St. Joseph’s has been listed as one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the country. The private school is on a 36-acre campus and includes a middle school as well. It is recognized by the Diocese of Charleston and accredited in athletics by the South Carolina Independent School Association.
“It’s a great place. It’s faith, academics and athletics. In a lot of ways, it’s like Wofford prep,” Nash said. “I believe that God does things for a reason. With how it all worked out, I don’t think it was just by chance. I think God needed to give me a kick in the butt to come here. And I really appreciate it.”
His office is part of a new wing, orange cones still blocking the entrance, and there is a smell of fresh paint. Pictures already in the hallway include some of Andre Stoddard, one of the most beloved graduates of St. Joseph’s and now a standout running back for Wofford. Nash sat behind his desk and his voice seemed to echo throughout a room still void of decoration and character.
Nash, a former All-American who was actually born on the Fourth of July (1980), followed his older brother, Brian, to Wofford from Sharpsburg, Ga. Eric spent one year in graduate school at South Carolina, studying physics and engineering, before applying for the offensive line coaching position with the Terriers. He and his wife, Dr. Erin Nash, whose medical practice is in Landrum, have two daughters, Stella and Nora, and a son, Mills. They live in Inman.
“This was a great opportunity for me and my family,” Nash said. “One of the attractive things to me is the thought of having my kids here someday. They go to Catholic school (St. Paul the Apostle) in Spartanburg and in not too many years, they’ll be old enough to be here.”
For the next month or so, Nash will continue learning from Beach, who has been at St. Joseph’s since 2015 after 21 years at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville.