Back to 'N' Award Winners
Dominic "Chip" Nila
Class of 1965 - Inducted 2019
Chip was awarded the Merit Award at the SHSAA Packer Sports Greats banquet in 2019.
While at South, Chip earned 11 letters. Four years for football, four years for baseball and three years for wrestling. He was a member of the South Letterman’s “O” Club all four years.
Chip played summer baseball for the American Legion South Omaha Chiefs Baseball Team, as well as summer baseball for the Phillips Store American Legion Baseball Team. He also participated on the track team his freshman year, running the 400 yard dash.
After high school, Chip attended Kearney State College, where he played baseball for four years. He lettered all four years in baseball, and played in the NAIA World series semi-finals at the 89er stadium in Oklahoma City. He also played football for two years at Kearney and competed one year in wrestling.
His college career was interrupted twice, first in 1967 when he was drafted into the US Marine Corp and served in Vietnam from 1967-1969. Chip served with the 1969 Lima Company 3rd Battalion, Fifth Marines in northern Vietnam and points north and west. Lima Company was one of the initial companies to enter and take the Citadel in Hue City as part of the Tet Offensive. He was a special OPS coordinator. Chip was honorably discharged in 1969.
Chip returned to Kearney and completed his college education. Chip graduated from Kearney with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, with endorsements to teach physical education, health and recreation, along with driver’s education.
Chip’s professional life has been inspiring. He was a graduate assistant football coach at Kearney, co-coached the JV and freshman football teams as a defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator. He was also a graduate assistant baseball coach for two years, in charge of the off-season program for Kearney for two years. Chip also coached American Legion midget baseball for six years in Kearney, making it to the playoffs all six years, finishing in second place twice. He also coached the Kearney American Legion Baseball team in the NE American Legion State Championship vs North Platte, finishing in second place.
Chip taught special education in Houston Texas. He was a high school instructor/football/baseball coach in Colorado from 1972-1977 head baseball coach, assistant football coach; at the Alief middle school he was head football coach from 1977-1979; at Alief high school, he was the assistant football coach from 1979-1999; and at Spring Woods High School he was both assistant football and baseball coach. He also coached the summer American Legion baseball team for Harrison High in Colorado.
He was a member of the American Football Coaches Association, the American Baseball Coaches Association, Member of the Nebraska Coaches Association, and a member of the Texas High School Coaches Association.
Chip worked for the Houston Rockets for 43 years. He was Crew Chief in charge of game operations; managing the whole game operation for both teams, ejections, pre-game and post-game interviews, halftime shows, officials and dealing directly with all phases of the media. He was awarded two NBA Championship rings in 1994-1995 by Coach Tomjanovich for work with the ball club during this championship year. He was introduced in 1995 to former President George H. W. Bush, beginning a friendship with him and Mrs. Barbara Bush which lasted for some time, until President Bush could no longer attend the games. Friendships that have lasted throughout the years include Ron Boone , Marlin Briscoe and Walt Gully.
This year, Chip received the Meritorious Service Award from the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association for services rendered to the association over the years.