82-year-old former Austin High School coach finds love again, marries in gym named after him


AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — Austin High holds a special place in the heart of Roosevelt Nivens.

“Hey, Hey Austin High,” said Nivens as he walked through the gym at the high school.

“I am here at Austin High all the time. I go to all their basketball games, all their football games. I bleed maroon.”

For 19 years, he was a coach at AHS, and even after retiring, he continues to substitute teach.

He’s had scholarships named after him, he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Honor, and the gym is named after him.

“In 2015, my wife passed away,” Nivens said. “I was just a lonely, lonely man and I was going to church every day, and I saw this lady and she just thrilled my heart when I saw her.”

Oleander Thomas was the lady at church, and one day she received a phone call from Nivens.

“He said, ‘Well, I am a substitute teacher at Austin High, and I would like to take you out on a date,'” Thomas said.

“It seemed like she liked me and I liked her, so we started dating and after a while I thought to myself I need this lady to be by my side,” Nivens said.

Joined by former students, teachers, coaches, and of course family, Roosevelt and Oleander exchanged their vows in the gym at the high school he loves.

“She is a good lady and I am looking forward to having a good life. I am looking to treat her well,” Nivens said.

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