Joseph Paul Nadicksbernd, Athletic Director at Christian Brothers University (CBU), passed away Wednesday, September 18. Nadicksbernd was an unmistakable icon of CBU for over 46 years as player, coach and administrator.
“Coach Nate,” as he was affectionately known, was CBU’s Athletic Director since 2003. Born January 7, 1949, Nadicksbernd graduated from Newport Central Catholic High School in Kentucky and came to CBU to play baseball and basketball. After a Hall of Fame career as a baseball and basketball player, he moved to his native northern Kentucky to begin his coaching career.
But Nadicksbernd returned to CBU a year later as an assistant baseball coach, and he never left. As CBU’s head baseball coach for 25 years, he was the University’s all-time winningest coach.
He also served as the University’s men’s basketball coach for four years and assistant athletic director. In 1999, Nadicksbernd moved into athletics administration full-time, first as associate athletic director and ultimately serving as athletic director for the last 11 years of his career at CBU.
Under Nadicksbernd’s leadership, CBU won six GSC championships and sent seven teams to NCAA Tournaments. He also led CBU to high achievements off the field, with the Athletics Department as a whole carrying a 3.0 GPA and seven student-athletes earning a top-ten finish for the Commissioner’s Trophy, which recognizes the top student-athlete in the GSC each year, recognizing excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
While passionate about athletics, Nadicksbernd took more pride in the individual academic success of CBU students. He often was heard stating, “Our priority in athletics is winning, but our ultimate priority is academics and students receiving their degrees from CBU. That’s our true success.”
Nadicksbernd’s impact extended far beyond the Athletics Department. He loved the University that he served and never missed an opportunity to impact others’ lives. Among the many accolades that Nadicksbernd received were the Brother Dominic Dunn Award for Student Service in 1999, the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award in 2002, and induction into the inaugural class of the CBU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. Additionally, the CBU baseball program annually presents the “Coach Nate” Award to the graduating senior who best exemplifies Joe’s integrity and excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
The most recent honor was the University naming its baseball field Nadicksbernd Field commemorating his lifelong contributions to CBU, especially its baseball program. It was on that field as a player that he first impacted the program with his .329 batting average, 17 homers and 104 RBIs, leading CBU to four straight winning records. He also excelled in basketball, ranking fourth in career scoring and second in career rebounding upon his graduation. More than 40 years later, his 963 rebounds still rank fourth in school history.
Nadicksbernd is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Carol, who is the office manager in the Physical Plant office at CBU, two sons Russell (Heather Reeves) and Spencer (Jennifer Jacks) and three precious grandchildren in Sara, Madeleine, and Joseph.
Visitation will be Saturday, September 21, from 10:00 a.m.-Noon at St Louis Catholic Church in Memphis with the Mass of Christian Burial immediately following. Burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery. A reception will follow at Christian Brothers University, in the Alfonso Dining Hall from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.