BCS head football coach Nate Strawderman named district Coach of the Year

WWSB ABC7 News at 11pm
Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 3:54 PM EST
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - The season ended without a championship for the Bradenton Christian Panthers, but some hardware is coming in the building.

Head coach Nate Strawderman has been named the Florida Athletic Coaches Association District Coach of the Year. He led the Panthers to a 7-2 record during their 2023 campaign, the second best in school history.

Strawderman tells ABC7 they’re just scratching the surface of what they can become. “We accomplished so many goals and plus and more than we ever thought,” Strawderman said. “It’s a good foundation. Our foundation is now the rock of where we want to go. It just builds on to what we have coming next season.”

Strawderman being named the district coach of the year after his first season at the top of the helm is a great honor, but the award is so much bigger than him.

He’s the son of the late, great Suncoast coaching legend, Elton Strawderman. The man known as “Coach E” spent years on the sidelines of Sarasota High and Bradenton Christian School. Nate says he’s living in the vision his father said would be planned for him.

“I go back and sometimes late at night I’ll look through me and my dad’s text messages that we shared with each other,” Strawderman said. “Before he passed away he actually applied to be the head coach at Bradenton Christian and he had this vision. He said Nate my calling that God has on my life is to change these kids lives and build a successful program. He always told me that I would do the same thing.”

Despite the amount of seniors leaving, Strawderman believes there’s more excitement for the BCS football program than ever before and he looks forward to the future.

“This is what I’m supposed to do with my life,” Strawderman said. “I’m supposed to lead the next generation of athletes. I don’t know where I’m going to be in ten years from now, but my goal is to lead those guys and be a leader of excellence and greatness.”