When new Maryville College football coach Ben Fox sought to complete his first Scots' staff before the school's unprecedented spring season, Fox had a short-list of candidates for the offensive line.
Yes, the right fit had to have a fundamental approach to teach the group.
Certainly, familiarity with Fox's high-flying aerial attack also was a plus.
Most importantly, the right candidate had to have what Fox – and Maryville College, a 200-year-old institution that's a US News honoree as among the South Region's top schools deemed critical away from the field: an interest in helping mold student-athletes into productive citizens.
Hired last month by Maryville College away from his role as Centre's offensive coordinator, Fox found all those characteristics this week when he hired Nick Oyarzun, a former Football Bowls Subdivision assistant coach at Florida International.
“Nick was very highly recommended from people I've known a long time and respect,” Fox told FootballScoop. “As offensive line coaches and coaches in general, and simply as people, Nick had a lot of respect.”
Fox's respect for Oyarzun was, in part, borne of Fox's having nearly hired Oyarzun previously at Centre College.
“His experience at Florida International and experience at Florida Memorial (University) have both prepared him to relate to our kids and will allow him to get the best out of our players,” Fox said. “He's a guy that will develop great relationships with the kids and that they'll want to play hard for him.
“That, to me, is special and unique. It's an opportunity we couldn't pass up. He had been interviewed for a role at my previous job, and I thought he did a great job. He has a passion for developing offensive linemen and, most importantly, helping and mentoring young men, which is what we want out of all of our coaches.”
Oyarzun had a pair of stints at Florida International; first a student-assistant, he later rejoined the program as a graduate assistant for the Panthers.
Oyarzun, a Miami native who played at Christopher Columbus High School before he transitioned into coaching at FIU, also has coached on the prep level at his alma mater as well as at Rochester University.
“He is what we need,” Fox said. “Young, energy, hard-worker, great with the kids and a desire to be a great offensive line coach.
“It's a great time to hire him.”