Affectionately known by his students and wrestlers as "Coach Noz," Nosbisch was a social studies teacher and head wrestling coach at Holly Springs High School in the Raleigh-Durham area. Just two years ago, he coached Cam Devers to the school's first-ever North Carolina state wrestling title, and took the Golden Hawks to runner-up status at the dual-meet playoffs in Class 4A for the first time in history.
Nick NosbischIt was about that time that Nosbisch learned he had intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of bile duct cancer. It was in Stage 4 and had spread to his lymph nodes, though not to other parts of his body. Less than two weeks after that diagnosis, Nosbisch had surgery to remove the tumor.
In May 2017, Nosbisch was awarded the N.C. High School Athletic Association's A.J. "Tony" Simeon Courage Award at its annual meeting.
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."
The Courage Award wasn't Coach Noz's first honor.
In 2016, 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," Holly Springs athletic director Rod Whitesell told the Raleigh News & Observer at the time the award was presented. "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."
If that weren't enough, Nosbisch also received the Double-Goal Coach Award from Team Snap, which goes to coaches who have success in sports while also teaching life lessons.
Holly Springs High School principal Brian Pittman informed parents of the coach's passing in a letter sent out this week.
"Loved and admired by his students, Mr. Nosbisch, or just Noz as he was often called, was a blessing to many as a talented classroom teacher, dedicated coach, and someone who embodied the spirit of the Golden Hawks," Pittman wrote. "Mr. Nosbisch simply loved to be at school surrounded by his students, colleagues, and friends."
Pittman's letter also included sentiments from some of Nosbisch's students and wrestlers.
"His impact on my life has been exponentially larger than anyone else. It isn't wrestling, he has taught me about life."
"He showed personal interest in more than just me as a student or athlete. He cared about me as a person not just my success on a test or on a mat."
"He taught me how to be determined and follow through in life. Once you start you never give up!"
"Coach Noz has made me realize that life is special and that you should take every day seriously and just have fun."
Nick Nosbisch is survived by his wife Melissa; parents Denise and Steve; and brothers Jack and Max.
A celebration of life for Nick Nosbisch will take place Tuesday, June 12 starting at 7 p.m. at Hope Community Church/Apex Annex at 2080 East Williams Street in Apex, NC.