Enthusiasm, a prereq for greatness

Family, Sports + Rec



Coach Nick shown leading DePauw against Wabash in 2003

Thirty years ago today, my father-in-law — Nick Mourouzis — led DePauw to a 21-14 triumph over archrival Wabash. The game marked Nick’s first Monon Bell experience as head coach of the Tigers. He went on to become the university’s winningest football coach, compiling 138 victories over his 23 years at the helm.

Not every man has a good relationship with his father-in-law, but I can say, in all honesty, that Nick is not only a beloved family member, he’s also one of my dearest friends. An eternal optimist possessing boundless energy and graciousness, he is simply a joy to be around. Countless others share my high opinion of Nick. Spend an afternoon with him walking around Indianapolis, and you’re bound to be interrupted a half-dozen times by shouts of “Coach Nick!” from friends and acquaintances who recognize him on the street.

Nick is fond of reciting quotes, particularly those of the motivational variety. One of his favorites, originally penned by Ralph Waldo Emerson, is this: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

I’ve never met anyone who’s as consistently enthusiastic as Nick — whether it’s eating Greek food or playing with his grandchildren or doing something as seemingly mundane as cleaning out a garage, he engages the moment with gusto. And it is through this enthusiasm that he has achieved greatness, both on the field and off.