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Byrd Athletics Hall-of-Famer Dr. Sam Nader featured in Sports Illustrated
December 5, 2019, 8:22 pm


Football for the Last 45 Years

You've probably never heard of Sam Nader, but he's been the steady heartbeat of LSU's football program since the 1970s.


Sam Nader is in his 45th year as a member of LSU's football staff. During games, he watches from the sideline.

Sam Nader is in his 45th year as a member of LSU's football staff. During games, he watches from the sideline.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Will Muschamp is attempting to eat dinner while analyzing film of South Carolina’s next opponent, undefeated and No. 3-ranked Clemson, when he receives an interview request through text message. Few topics can take him away from football and food, but this is one. “You’re doing a story on Sam Nader?” says Muschamp, Carolina’s head coach and a former LSU assistant. “It’s about damn time someone did.”

You probably don’t know Sam Nader and maybe you’ve never even heard of him (that’s the way he likes it, honestly), but for more than four decades, Nader has labored in the darkness here at LSU, silently and diligently, unassuming and inconspicuous. He is the man behind this football program, a living connection to the past, a confidant for thousands of players and a consigliere to dozens of coaches. He is the grandfather of this place, having just completed his 45th consecutive regular season as a member of the LSU staff. He’s a survivor in a cutthroat industry, outlasting nine head coaches and six athletic directors, nine times retained through coaching transitions, an untouchable man, bulletproof really.

Since arriving at the school as a graduate assistant in 1975, Nader has been on the sideline for 509 games, 14 division, conference and national championships, with two perfect regular seasons (2011 and 2019). He’s seen Tiger Stadium expand four different times, and he’s worked out of four different office buildings. He’s even been here long enough to remember when the school still situated its snarling live Bengal Tiger in front of the visitor’s locker room.

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