Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nugent, Former Herd QB, Now Ironman Competitor

It’s now been more than 30 years since Terry Nugent played football for Elk Grove High School. The 51-year-old remains quite active physically. That’s because he competes regularly in Ironman triathlons.

Earlier this year he took first in his age group in an Ironman 70.3 competition in Lubbock, TX. The 70.3 is half as long as a regular Ironman event. Competitors start with a 1.2 mile swim followed by a 56 mile bike ride and conclude with a 13.1 mile run.

Nugent’s time was four hours, 30 minutes and 32 seconds. He was also second at an Ironman 70.3 in Oceanside in March.

Former EGHS QB Terry Nugent
“Working, training and coaching is about all I do now,” the father of three, now living in the Denver area, said. He along with former Bronco receiver Ed McCaffrey coach their 11-year-old sons’ football team. 

Nugent was a two-year starter for the Thundering Herd at quarterback and in 1979 led Elk Grove to a Capital Valley Conference championship, but lost in the opening game of the post-season to Cordova.

(Listen to our interview in its entirety)
“We got our butts kicked but at least we laid a foundation for a pretty good set of teams that followed,” Nugent said. “We had some pretty good guys on that team. Bob Bennett went on a full ride to Stanford that year.”

Nugent and an Elk Grove teammate, Tom Ehlers, who was the Herd starting center, were recruited by former University of Pacific head coach Chester Caddas to attend Colorado State. Caddas had just resigned at UOP and taken a job as the defensive coordinator at CSU.

Ehlers became a defensive line coach and coached another former Herd star, Adrian Ross, in college. Ehlers is now the director of football operations at CSU.

Nugent ‘s name is etched into the Rams’ recordbook. As its quarterback between 1980 and 1983 he amassed 7, 103 yards passing, second all-time for CSU. His 3,319 yards passing in 1983 still stands as the single season mark. That year he passed for more than 400 yards in two games.

“In my four years, we never could beat BYU,” Nugent recalled. “They were always our nemesis. They had Jim McMahon and Steve Young.”

Nugent got a cup of coffee in the NFL with the Colts and hung around four seasons as a backup quarterback. He left the pros to become a financial advisor but never could get the idea of competition in sports out of his system so 12 years ago began entering the Ironman Triathlons. In 2011 he qualified for the Ironman World Championships and was third in men age 50-54 and was 311th overall.

He’s returning in December to run in the California Marathon along with his brother Kevin who still lives in the Folsom area. His next Ironman will be March, 2013, in Australia.

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