Jim Nagy was an NFL scout for nearly two decades, having worked for the Packers, Washington, Patriots, Chiefs and Seahawks. In 2018, Nagy took over as Executive Director of the Senior Bowl (he’s pictured above with 2021 Senior Bowl coaches Matt Rhule and Brian Flores).
We caught up with Nagy for this week’s Friday Five…
Who is your biggest mentor?
I’d say my dad. I’ve learned more from my dad in terms of how to live your life, treat people right and be humble than anyone I’ve ever been around. I’ve been very lucky that I’ve had such a role model from my entire time growing up. Professionally, I would say the two men that I’ve worked under would be Scott Pioli and John Schneider. They’re both very different people and very different leaders, but I had a lot of great takeaways from both of them. Both helped me shape not only my scouting career but how to lead different groups.
What’s your top pet peeve?
It’s just a little thing but people standing on down escalators or moving walkways, especially in airports, drives me nuts. I get it if you’re lugging around a big roller bag but, in general, this is the epitome of laziness. Had too many short layovers in Jackson-Hartsfield Airport (ATL) during my time in the NFL where this scenario slowed me down. I like getting from Point A to Point B as efficiently as possible.
What’s your favorite book?
I would say a couple of them, and they’re sitting here close to my desk right now. One is called Ego Is the Enemy (Ryan Holiday). It was a book that John Schneider gave to the entire scouting staff during my time in Seattle. Just a bunch of great takeaways in that. The fight against the ego. It’s easy for someone to let some of that subconscious slip in sometimes, especially when you’re having success. It’s always important to stay grounded. The other is a book called The One Thing (Gary Keller). It was given to me by one of our board members here at the Senior Bowl when I took the job. Just really has always reminded me to stay focused on what’s important in this role as the leader of the Senior Bowl. It’s been very valuable.
I keep both of those books really close to my desk and every once in a while I’ll look over and see those two books laying there. And they’ll remind me of those takeaways that are so important just in daily life and when you’re trying to run a business.
If you could have dinner with any three people in history, who would they be?
This is difficult. Could go in a lot of different directions here but off the top of my head I’ll go with my two grandfathers and Pope Francis. One of my grandpas died the year before I was born and the other passed away when I was only 7 years old. I’ve heard so many stories about them over the years it would be great to sit down now as an adult and learn more about our family’s history. Pope Francis for obvious reasons.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
Looking back, I would say I tried too hard to prove myself and prove my knowledge as a young scout. Probably some insecurities as a young guy. I would like to talk to that young guy in his early 20s that was just getting into scouting and probably trying to look too hard to prove himself and where he fit on the scouting staff and just tell him to relax. Keep working and keep grinding at it, but you don’t always have to push so hard to prove your point. That’s probably the best advice that I would give that young guy.
Check out all of our Friday Five features — including Troy Aikman, Adam Schefter, Andrea Kremer and more — in the Friday Five archive.