When Bulldog assistant men's basketball coach Nick McDevitt was growing up in Madison County, he dreamed that he wanted to be a high school teacher and a basketball coach.
Today Nick is living that dream but at UNC Asheville instead of at a high school.
"I really enjoy teaching the game of basketball," explained McDevitt. "We're fortunate to be at an institution like UNC Asheville where our student-athletes get the total student experience. There is a high level of importance placed on academics here and our student-athletes benefit greatly from that."
McDevitt has been a Bulldog for a long time. He was a four-year letterman at UNC Asheville after a stellar playing career at Madison HS where he led the Patriot program to two straight regional appearances and conference championships.
After graduating in 2001, Nick was able to join the Bulldog coaching staff and has been at head coach Eddie Biedenbach's side ever since.
"One of the reasons I chose UNC Asheville was when Coach Biedenbach was recruiting me, he asked me what I wanted to do after I stopped playing," explained McDevitt. "He was the only coach to ask me that during my recruiting process."
Nick told Coach Biedenbach what he wanted to do after college.
"I told him I wanted to be a teacher and a basketball coach. I loved the idea of teaching even when I was younger," stated McDevitt. "Coach Biedenbach assured me that if I came to school and did what I was supposed to do those doors would open up for me somewhere."
Somewhere turned out to be UNC Asheville. When veteran assistant coach Pat Bryant decided to move into athletic administration, a coaching vacancy would be filled by Nick McDevitt.
"I knew I might want to get into college coaching someday but I thought I would have to coach in high school for awhile and see what would happen for me," commented McDevitt. "I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time."
Coach Biedenbach says there was more than being in the right place for Nick.
"Nick was a very mature young man when he played for us and by the time he was a senior, he was like a coach on the floor," admitted Biedenbach. "Hiring Nick was an easy decision for me. He was a sharp young man who loved UNC Asheville. Nick's done a great job for our program and any success we've had he's been a big part of that success."
When asked about what some of the big highlights about his 10-year coaching career at UNC Asheville, Nick remembers big wins and championships but it is a certain day that takes place in May that he remembers the most.
"Seeing our student-athletes graduate in May is always the biggest highlight for me," explained McDevitt. "I'm proud of the success we've had on the court and there's been plenty of wins to remember. However, seeing a young man get his degree is the biggest thrill.
"For a lot of our players, they're the first one in their family to graduate from college," added Nick. "To see how excited their families are and the smile they have when they receive their diploma is as big a win as you can get."
Note - If you know of a former Bulldog student-athlete who you would like to see profiled, contact Mike Gore at email@example.com or call 828-251-6923.