By Gary Lloyd
HOOVER — Some coaches, albeit not many of them, are just talkers.
You can prepare to ask a dozen postgame questions, and they just sing without you opening your mouth. The tape recorder just rolls. You feel comfortable with these coaches, whether their teams win or lose.
I have encountered several of these coaches in Mississippi and Alabama. One who fits this group is Hoover’s Josh Niblett. He’s a V-8 engine in Hoover-orange pants. He has a lot of energy.
When we talk after games, I feel comfortable asking him about things other than just his defensive line play and turning points in games. You give him a talking point, and he just goes.
After Hoover’s 37-7 win over visiting Oak Mountain on Sept. 20, I had a random question for Niblett. I asked him about Twitter, and how he uses the platform. He uses it to keep up with friend and colleagues in other states, he told me.
“We try to uplift each other,” Niblett told me. “I just want to try to uplift people. I want to try to put something positive out there for people every day. When they wake up or aren’t having a good day maybe they can read something that makes them have a great day.”
Niblett has more than 6,000 followers, and seemingly every morning he posts a Bible verse punctuated with the praying hands emoji, “4our,” and the world emoji. Those are the tweets he posts in hopes of encouraging his followers to “have a great day.”
I asked Niblett if more of this is needed on the social media platform, not just in the coaching profession, but across the board.
“There’s no doubt. No doubt,” he said. “I’m just a small part. We tell our kids, when you wake up every day you can be positive or you can be negative. You can try to lift people up and breathe life into them, or you can suck the life out of them. For me, I’m just a high-energy guy. On Twitter it’s kind of hard to put high energy out there, but hopefully every morning (I do). And I’ve got people that I follow that lift me up every day. I think that’s huge. I think we do need that more every day in the world. There’s no doubt about it.”
On the Saturday morning after I covered Hoover’s win, Niblett tweeted, “Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. -Proverbs 3:3”
On a social media platform full of political vitriol and anonymous criticism, this is what should stand out. I’m glad Niblett and many others use it this way.