Presbyterian's Gregg Nibert serves community through foster parenting

When you become a coach, you take on a lot of roles — teacher, counselor, substitute parent. For Presbyterian College basketball coach Gregg Nibert, all of those roles have been rolled into one as a foster parent.

For nearly 10 years, Nibert and his wife Peggy have quietly fostered more than 20 children.

“Being a coach is about making you boys into men so they can be best prepared for the future,” Nibert said. “But being a foster parent is about giving kids the love they deserve and being a voice for the voiceless. This way the kids can get the love and help they deserve, rather it being a voice to communicate their needs through the police or social services.”

Nibert, entering his 27th season as the Blue Hose’s head coach, has faced many of his own challenges from the very public — the school’s move across divisions to his ongoing battle with prostate cancer.

That diagnosis might not have happened had the Niberts not been interested in caring for foster children.

“I first got involved with foster care in 2006,” Nibert said. “It was something my wife wanted to do and be a part of and after training we got out first foster care child on March 21st, 2007.”

To become a foster or adoptive parent, adults need to go through different training courses and medical testing. During that testing, Nibert’s cancer was discovered. “It just shows how unbelievable the Lord is, that child was an angel in disguised. I am extremely thankful. That child helped me and saved me, not the other way around.”

The Niberts had the first foster child in their family for two years until he was adopted.

“We were highly considering adopting the child ourselves because we loved and treated him like our own son, and considered our other sons to be his brothers,” he said. “However before we could adopt him we spoke to a former Presbyterian College graduate who was looking to adopt a child with her husband. We knew these were good people, so we were okay with them adopting him. Even though we considered adopting him ourselves, we knew it would be selfish to not let this family do it and provide the love they were capable of.”

Nibert is a man who lets his faith guide him. When speaking with him he mentioned multiple times how blessed he was to be in his situation.

“I am so blessed to be here this long, I am so blessed for each team, player and coach that has been a part of this program. I am lucky to live in such a great town and be a part of such as great school and church. Not to mention how lucky I am for my family, they are a good Christian family.”
Video: Niberts fostering lives

Above: The Nibert family — Gregg, Peggy and sons Shaun and Van — has fostered more than 20 children over the past 10 years. (Courtesy the Nibert family)

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