Labus: The man behind ‘The Calves’


By Nick Borgman
Eagle Staff

Many people see coach Nathan Labus around school. He teaches students about preventing obesity,

STDs and how to save lives with CPR and AEDs. He coaches the cross country and track teams.

The man has been at St. Thomas for 16 years doing these heroic acts of valor. However, not many

people know the real coach Labus.

Coach cares. You can see him everyday picking up trash in between and after lunches. Without him,

St. Thomas would not be the epitome of cleanliness that it is today. One man cannot do it all. Labus

encourages students to throw their own trash away and recycle their recyclables.

Coach Labus is a lightning-fast world class runner. But he is very humble about his skills as a runner.

When asked who could beat him in a race, Labus responded with confidence.

“I don’t know, anybody”. The truth is witnessing his speed has brought grown men to tears.

“I run a 5:30 mile,” Labus said. “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it”.

Now as you all should know, the cheetah, found in African savannas and also in captivity in places

such as the Houston Zoo, has a top speed of roughly 60 miles per hour, or for you mathematicians out

there, 1 mile per minute. Therefore, Labus is equivalent to around 5 and a half cheetahs.

Labus also believes in the importance of health and education about health. This topic ranges from

eating right to CPR training to identifying child abuse. Health class is most commonly taken by

seniors, however every year several underclassmen take the course as well. But Coach Labus would

rather have students learn the information as soon as possible.

“I really wish they made [health] a requirement for freshman.” Says Labus, “It would help y’all out

throughout your high school career”.

Its true. A lot of the information about the legal consequences of issues like sexting, cyber bullying,

and Good Samaritan laws are of great benefit to those who take the class, and could prove valuable to

students who have taken the class early on in their highschool careers.

Labus’ relationship to the students is remarkable.

“Coach is the man,” star senior pole vaulter Matthew Wood said. “I’d follow that guy into war”.

“I need him,” says star team captain senior sprinter Johnny “JJ” DeForest. “As a young athlete,

aspiring star, he’s… He’s basically my father of track”.

When he is not bettering the community, Labus likes to cool out at home with a bottle of water to stay

hydrated for his next run.

Labus does not only help the St. Thomas community either. He tries to provide for homeless people

whenever he sees them.

“I don’t like to give them money, cause they’ll use it for bad stuff,” Labus said. “But I’ll give ‘em some

food if I have it, like a granola bar if I’ve got one”.

Labus looks to take the Cross Country team to a state title, headed by star senior Johnathan


“Labus expects the varsity guys to run in the low 16’s this year for a 5K which is about a five minute

pace for three miles,” said Rzsanicki of the rigor that the Cross Country team is put through.

Labus is not afraid to lay down the law though. He takes up phones in class and doesn’t allow

students to play games like Dream League Soccer and Big Win Football.

Since Labus joined the staff of St. Thomas in 1998, the ageless man has engineered one state title for

the Cross Country team, which came in 2004.