By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The “Getting to Know” series is designed to help the community learn more about the coaches and administrators that are guiding today’s Portage County student-athletes to be tomorrow’s leaders.
Today, we get to know Southeast High School girls basketball coach and Southeast Middle School Principal Craig Nettleton, who is in his 26th season overall as a coach and fifth season as the Pirates’ girls basketball head coach.
Q: What schools did you attend growing up?
A: Canal Fulton Elementary, Northwest Middle School, Northwest High School (Class of 1982). Played football, basketball and baseball.
A: Malone College (undergrad 1986); Asland University (Master’s 2002). Degree in Business Administration.
Q: What inspired you to be a coach?
A: I had great coaches and teachers in my life growing up. I wanted to make a difference in lives like they made in mine.
Q: What makes being a coach at Southeast special to you?
A: It starts with the tremendous young ladies that I get to spend so much time with. The support here, from the parents, staff, Board of Education and the administration, is second to none.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence?
A: Jim Lower at Northwest. He was extremely knowledgeable of Xs and Os, but was also able to make it so simple for his players. He was great at building relationships with all the stakeholders and especially his players. His integrity was unquestioned.
Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your playing days?
A: During basketball season, we had a pep rally where we all came out to the band playing and the students going crazy. We lapped the floor and then started a layup line, where th first five players all dunked. I was the sixth man to shoot and got some boos from my friends in the stands after showing off my “ups” on a finger roll.
Q: Favorite TV show?
A: Everybody Loves Raymond.
Q: Favorite movie?
A: Hoosiers and Tombstone.
Q: Favorite musical artist?
Q: Favorite food or meal?
A: Italian — my wife’s lasagna.
Q: Best vacation?
A: All our vacations were special and still are when our three boys and their families are with us.
Q: Favorite quote?
A: “Better today than yesterday. Better tomorrow than today.”
Q: What does it mean to you to be a Pirates student-athlete?
A: Pirate student-athletes understand there are far more important things than athletics. They get that the No. 1 thing is being a student.
Q: Favorite restaurant?
A: Rusty Bellies (Florida).
Q: Favorite teacher from high school?
A: Mr. Triffun.
Q: Advice you would give the younger version of yourself?
A: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?
A: Jim Triffun and Scotty Morrison.
Q: Coaching resume?
A: 26 years as a head coach. Fifteen as a boys coach at Field, six as girls coach at Field, five as girls coach at Southeast. Prior to that, I was a freshman coach for two years at Northwest and JV coach at Field for two years (boys).
Q: Favorite sports teams?
A: North Carolina Tar Heels and Cleveland Guardians.
Q: Favorite athlete then?
A: Roger Stabauch and Michael Jordan.
Q: Favorite athlete now?
A: Don’t really have one.
Q: First job as a teenager?
A: I worked for my dad in the drywall business.
Q: Family member that always gave you the best advice?
A: Wife and mom.
Q: Favorite video game?
A: Space Invaders.
Q: First car?
A: Pontiac Lemans.
Thankyou Coach for the work that you do with our kids,on and off the court.