Holly Springs wrestling coach Nick Nosbisch was awarded the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s A.J. “Tony” Simeon Courage Award on Thursday at its annual meeting held at the Dean Smith Center.
According to the NCHSAA, the Courage Award is “designed to honor individuals who, despite adversity, have demonstrated exemplary character and performance and, as a result, have been an inspiration to all those involved with the programs of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.”
During last winter’s wrestling season, Nosbisch was diagnosed with a rare form of bile duct cancer, known as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. It was in Stage 4 and had spread to his lymph nodes, though not to other parts of his body.
Nosbisch was in surgery less than two weeks later to get the tumor removed, and the Holly Springs community rallied around him.
As of Thursday afternoon, 723 people had donated more than $57,700 for his medical needs on a youcaring.com page, a crowdfunding site.
Nosbisch has made an impact on the mat for Holly Springs – in his first two seasons the Golden Hawks had an individual state champion and were the 4A runner-up in the dual-team playoffs for the first time – but off the mat as well.
His wrestlers were overjoyed to have him back in time to watch their matches in the last week of the regular season.
“It meant everything to us,” senior Hunter Morton said in January. “Seeing him there was awesome. I know for me personally, there’s no one I’d rather have in my corner.”
Prior to this year, Nosbisch won a national award from the Positive Coaching Alliance, presented to coaches who strive for success in competition while also helping teach their athletes important life lessons.
“The response you’ve seen from what’s gone on in the community – from the kids, from parents, from past parents who were here tonight shows how much he cares for his kids,” athletic director Rod Whitesell said. “He hasn’t wanted it to be a big deal because he always wants it to be about the kids and the wrestlers, and I think that’s a testament to him. That’s why you hear such positive things about him – he puts kids first.”