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Nolans in Professional Sports (2006)

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By Dave Nolan

In recent years Nolans have distinguished themselves as athletes and coaches in the world’s most prestigious and lucrative athletic leagues.

The Liverpool, England born Kevin Nolan currently captains the Bolton Wanderers in the British Premier League.   The midfielder, who became a professional footballer (soccer player) at age 17 in 1999, may have to choose between playing for the Irish national team of his ancestral lineage or the English national team in the 2010 World Cup competition.

The Belfast, Ireland born Owen Nolan began playing professional soccer at age 18 and is now in his seventeenth year in the National Hockey League (NHL). The Right Winger for the Phoenix (Arizona) Coyotes has an astounding 349 goals and 387 assists in 920 NHL games. Brandon Nolan, new to the NHL, plays Center for the Vancouver Cannucks.

Gary Lynn Nolan helped pitch his Cincinnati Reds baseball team to a 1975 World Series Championship.   He compiled a low 3.08 career earned run average with 110 victories and 70 losses in steady major league performance from 1967 through 1977.

Dick Nolan was a defensive back for the 1958 world champion New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). After his eight year playing career, he coached the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints. He was honored as NFL Coach of the year in 1970 for a compiling a 10-3-1 season for the 49ers.   His son, Mike Nolan was drafted by the Denver Bronco’s and thereafter coached successfully in the NFL for 25 years.   Today Mike is in his second year as head coach for San Francisco 49ers, the organization his father successfully took to conference championship games in 1970 and 1971. 

Deanna Nolan, as the five foot, eleven inch point guard for the Detroit Shock, led her team to 2005 and 2006 Women National Basketball League (WNBA) titles.   The six-year profession drafted from the University of Georgia is regarded by many to be the fastest player in the fourteen team league.  In the 2006 victory season, she averaged 13.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game.   

Ted Nolan born in 1958, on the Garden River Ojibwa Nation Reserve outside of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, is currently the Head Coach of the New York Islanders. Nolan, a retired Canadian professional hockey Left Winger played 3 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins. He also coached for 2 seasons in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres, after serving as assistant coach for one season with the Hartford Whalers.

Reference: “Nolans in Professional Sports” by Dave Nolan,
p. 15 , Nolan Clan Newsletter, December 2006

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