By TOM CUNNINGHAM, email@example.com
8:00 AM EDT, July 9, 2014
Editor's note: An older article on Nick Acree was inadvertently published on the sports page last week. This is an update on his career.
Since he left King William High School after his junior year, the road to success has not been easy for Nick Acree. He injured his right ACL before his senior year at Fork Union Military Academy and, just when he was establishing himself on Virginia Tech's offensive line, he injured his other knee in a scrimmage, ending his promising college football career.
Acree, however, persevered and has been named to the Hokie coaching staff.
"I would like to thank God and my family for giving me the strength to persevere. Every time I wanted to quit I could hear God telling me to keep going because I have a plan for you," he said.
The 6-foot-5 316-pound Acree will be a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach under Mike Gentry, training future Hokie stars on the proper technique to become bigger, faster and stronger.
"I am very fortunate to be able to do something I love everyday and pass on my knowledge to the players. After my two years at this position I will take the test to be certified by the NCAA and then I would like to be a head strength coach in college and hopefully in the NFL," said Acree, who owns the bench press record at Tech — lifting 505 pounds — which earned him the "Iron Hokie" award.
Every football prospect that enters a large Division 1 program like Virginia Tech has two goals: play in the NFL and graduate with a degree. Acree won't roam the sidelines on Sunday but he did graduate this May with a degree in English/creative writing.
"I am not disappointed in not playing that much in college or in the NFL because I know I have a purpose in helping other players achieve their goals," he said.
The glamour of college football happens on Saturday in front of millions of fans, but the hard work of college football happens during the week. That's when Acree will help the Virgina Tech Hokies win games.
"I will do whatever it takes to make this team better," Acree said. "I know we will have a great year because these players are working harder than ever. I am blessed to be part of this team."
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