An old face will be back at Cardinal O’Hara on Saturday afternoon, his latest stop in an impressive coaching career.
Nick Bach – a former Hawks player and coach – returns as head football coach of Gilman School, a prestigious private school in Baltimore. The Hawks and Greyhounds kick off at 1 p.m.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what the school looks like, man,” said Bach, a 1996 O’Hara graduate. “I haven’t been there in about 20 years. And I’m going to be sure to grab some pizza and wings and a roast beef on weck.”
Bach’s decorated coaching career – which includes stints at the college and high school level – currently has him at Gilman, the top-ranked academic school in Maryland. His eight-year-old son Nathan plans to attend the elite all-boys school, something the elder Bach called a “fantastic bonus.”
“I’m absolutely loving it here,” he said. “It’s an amazing school. It’s the No. 1-ranked school in the state academically and it’s about training boys to become men.”
The football program is in rebuild mode after circumstances led to several high-profile alumni leaving the program. Gilman is 0-6 this season – against top competition in the Baltimore area.
“We’re rolling in the right direction,” Bach said. “We’re hitting some bumps in the road but we’re getting better.”
In his previous stint, Bach saw plenty of success – and established himself as a big-time high school coach at the national level in Georgia.
He coached at Mountain View High School near Atlanta for five seasons, the final three as the head coach. He twice led the team to Class 7A (largest school) state playoff appearances including the program’s first postseason win in 2017 – delighting weekly crowds of about 10,000 at every game.
“Football’s a really big deal there,” Bach said. “There are a lot of people there. Every game’s a party, an event. Gwinnett County is one of the most talent-rich places in the country. Every team it seemed had 10-15-20 Division I kids every year.”
Bach – who played defensive end at Canisius College and Buffalo State – also spent 10 years as an assistant coach. That included stints at Johns Hopkins, Otterbein, East Stroudsburg and SUNY Buffalo.
Current Cleve-Hill Golden Eagles head coach Glen Graham was on the Canisius coaching staff when Bach was a player there. Graham said that he “enjoyed coaching him.”
At UB, he helped coach a linebacker named Shaquille Dudley, now the Hawks head coach. Bach is looking forward to matching up against a fellow O’Hara alumni.
“I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Shaq,” Bach said. “He’s a good friend of mine and I coached him a little in college. I know he’s doing a great job there and I’m looking forward to it.”
Bach earned his bachelor’s degree in health and wellness at Buff State in 2001 and then his Master’s in teaching at Otterbein in 2007. And when the time is right, he’s certainly open to returning to the collegiate level for the right opportunity.
But right now, his career is based first on family.
“I’m always leaving that door (of returning to college coaching) open,” said Bach, who also has a 5-year-old daughter Delaney. “But right now, I need to spend time with my kids. I don’t mind the hours of college coaching, but I can’t take that much time away from my kids.”
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