Nate Green, an assistant coach who helped usher in the football program at Oceanside Collegiate Academy, died Monday from cancer.
Green was 49.
A Michigan native, Green moved to the Charleston area a few years ago and immediately found a home on the Oceanside football staff.
Chad Grier, the Mount Pleasant school’s former football coach and athletic director who recently left Oceanside for a job in Charlotte, remembers when Green first came on board as a volunteer.
“He actually didn’t have a ton of football experience,” Grier said. “But he loved working with kids and was really passionate about being part of the program.”
Green’s commitment eventually prompted Grier to offer him a role as an assistant coach. Officially his job was to coach defensive backs at Oceanside, but he did much more than that, Grier said.
“Whenever we needed anything, Nate was the first person to step up,” he said. “The kids saw that and I think that’s why they gravitated to him.”
In December 2018, Green was diagnosed with Mantle Cell lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells. He was initially cleared and entered remission in April 2019.
But the cancer came back last fall and grew more aggressive over the past few months.
Despite the issues he was facing, Green never wavered.
Last month, for example, he handed out caps and gowns to the seniors so he could congratulate them on their graduation.
Mark Meyer, the school’s current athletic director, took to Facebook Monday morning to write about his relationship with Green.
“My friend and colleague Coach Nate Green was a great friend, awesome coach, hard worker, super organized, terrific father, and all around good dude,” Meyer wrote. “He never gave up. He was fighting this thing until the last, but I’m relieved for him that he doesn’t need to fight anymore. RIP Coach!”