May 1, 2018 | By Allye Clayton, Emily Coats and Yash Padhye
NASHVILLE – Something that many people may not hear too often on the volleyball court is whether they prefer DC Comics or Marvel Comics. According to Lincoln Memorial University’s Men’s Volleyball Head Coach John Cash, “it’s Marvel all the way” for him.
This season, the men’s volleyball team at LMU wanted to show off their coach’s love of comic books by sporting the Punisher logo on the front of their warm-up shirts.
“Coming into the year [Cash] wanted to take the Punisher saying ‘in order for peace, prepare for war.’ So, it says it in Latin on the back of our shirts and a pretty cool front logo on the front of the shirts.” said sophomore Evan Cory.
Cash says, “[The shirts] started with me because he is one of my favorite characters — outside of Captain America — just because he’s got a little bit of a different background story. We’re always tryin’ to have fun!”
Cash wants to bring the notion of looking up to someone, like a superhero, to his players.
“When you’re growing up, you’re always looking to someone. And for a lot of young kids today, they go to those movies and they see those characters … and even though they know it’s the movies, they aspire to try to do something great.”
Upon further explanation from Coach Cash, he wants his players to be fully aware that they are someone’s hero, whether they know it or not. “Not only are we playing volleyball,” Cash says, “But we’re aspiring to help young people see their visions and try to make them come true.”
He is very careful with his comic book collection. He even has them in their plastic sleeves! He says, “Oh yeah! I’m a nerd! But I don’t let them [his players] touch ‘em.”
Outside of coaching, Cash is an avid collector and seller. When asked about which comic book is the most expensive in his collection, he was more than excited to share that he owns an All Select #1 that goes for about $12,000. The most expensive comic that Cash ever sold was a 1941 Captain America first edition, which he sold in 2003 for $30,000. With the many conventions that Cash has attended, he shared that Action Comics #1, the first Superman, went for over $2 million.
In his current collection, Cash has about 7,500 books. John Cash also shared that he’s met and interacted (at least four times) with legendary Marvel Comics writer and film producer, Stan Lee.
Coach John Cash is very attentive to his comic book collection, but it is apparent that he loves to use his connection with comic books as a way to teach his players valuable life lessons. Now that his players are aware that they are someone’s hero, they can now feel like superheroes themselves.