BUCS Finals 15/16: Head Coach Interviews – Nick Keyse, Swansea Titans

As part of our build up to the National Finals games on Sunday, we’re getting to know the head honchos behind the four programmes that will be battling it out for glory this weekend!

We’re starting off with a diminutive red head from South Wales, who over the past four campaigns has led the Titans from slogging it out in the middle of the highly-competitive SWAC, to this year earning themselves a spot in the bright lights of premiership for next season!

Let’s meet him:

Coach Keyse lead the Titans to Cup victory over the NTU Renegades in the 2013/14 season
Coach Keyse lead the Titans to Cup victory over the NTU Renegades in the 2013/14 season

Hi Coach! Who are you and what’s your coaching background?

My name is Nick Keyse and this is my fourth year as Head Coach of the Swansea Titans. As a bit of background, I’m a graduate of Swansea Uni and joined the Titans as a player during their affiliation year in the league 6 years ago. I was then president of the team for its first 2 years in the league (think we won maybe 1 or 2 games..). I then had a year away from the team doing my post graduate before Frankie Pankhurst became President and invited me back as HC.

How did you get into coaching American Football?

I played flag football for various South Wales-based teams when I was 13. This was followed by joining the Titans when I went to uni and first started coaching in my second year when I started to get involved with coaching defense. By third year I was calling defensive plays and its just taken off from there really.

Who’s your coaching hero?

Bill Belichick – I know it’s a boring pick and I’d love to have some old school HC I can refer to, but id be lying if I went past Belichick. Completely doesn’t care what other teams think about him or his team. Players and coaches respect him. Has had so much success and the “patriot way” is something I’ve tried to emulate in my own way.

Head Coach Nick Keyse, Swansea Titans

What’s your coaching dream?

Less a coaching dream for me and more a dream for the team, to win a national championship. Five years ago this team was in its first season in the league getting hammered by 50 points. Five years later and we’ve just been promoted to the premiership after back to back division titles. I’m proud of how far we’ve come and, while it’s going to take a lot of work and luck in order to achieve it, I remain optimistic that this team can keep doing the right things in order to push on to one day be considered on the same level as the Birminghams and Stirlings of this world.

What’s the single most important quality for a BUCSball coach, in your opinion?

Just the ability to deal with so many different personalities and individuals. Regardless of anything to do with football, you are dealing with guys at an age where they are normally 18-22 years old, likely away from home for the first time, and in many cases trying a new sport. As a BUCSball coach you have a significant impact on their university lives and that’s a responsibility we should all take seriously. Wins and losses is one thing, but being an authority figure for so many different types of people at such a memorable/important part in their lives is a responsibility that none of us should lose sight of.

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And now our quickfire round!

Answer as quickly as possible – we trust you to be honest!

Red or Blue?

Blue

Cats or Dogs?

Dogs

Offence or Defence?

Defence

Bacon or Cheese?

Cheese

Blitz or Coverage?

Blitz

Star Wars or Star Trek

Star Wars

Punt or Go for it?

Punt

Rachel or Monica?

Monica

Run or Pass?

Pass

Ice him or Let him kick?

Ice him

Hot dog or Burger?

Burger

Brawn or Brains?

Brains

Peyton or Eli?

Eli (I’m offended that I have to pick one)

Dodge ’em or Truck ’em?

Dodge ’em

Classless winner or Classy loser?

Classless winner

1 point or 2 points?

1 point

Squat or Bench?

Squat

Fast or Strong?

Fast

Titans or Renegades?

Titans

Clansmen or Lions?

Clansmen

Whoa! Thanks coach. We don’t really know what that tells us all, but we’re sure it’s important and informative!!

Look out for Coach Keyse directing his Titans from the sideline on Sunday!

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Nick

Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1