After a month-long search, the St. Catherine University volleyball team has a new coach at the helm, as Todd Nelson has been named Head Coach of the Wildcats, athletic director Eric Stacey announced.
"He has great experience coaching and recruiting at a high level and I am excited to see where he will lead this program," says Stacey.
Nelson brings a wealth of collegiate experience to St. Kate's with over 17 years as an assistant coach at several Division I institutions. Most recently, Nelson was the lead assistant at Southern Illinois University, where he was active in all facets of the game, including coaching, recruiting, and compliance. During his time at SIU, the Salukis posted a 101-59 record and went 62-31 in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play. Nelson also helped guide Southern Illinois to five-consecutive conference tournaments and their first at large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2015.In addition to his success on the court with the Salukis, Nelson helped several student-athletes receive conference and national recognition – nine volleyball players received MVC First Team All-Conference honors, two earned Second Team honors, and five first years were named to the All-Freshman team. Nelson also coached and recruited an Honorable Mention and Academic All-American, two American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Region players, two Academic All-District Honorees, and an MVC Freshman of the year.
Prior to Southern Illinois, Nelson spent six years at the University of Denver, where he served as the recruiting coordinator and assisted in all aspects of the game. With Nelson's assistance, the Pioneers posted an overall record of 109-82 and a 70-35 mark in Sun Belt Conference play. Denver also won two conference championships and qualified for the Sun Belt Conference Championship for six consecutive seasons. Nelson also held assistant coaching positions at Marquette University, Indiana State, and University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD). In all three positions, Nelson led recruiting efforts and had a direct impact on scheduling, scouting, academic support, and running the respective team's youth summer camps.
"I'm extremely excited for this opportunity," Nelson said in an interview. "I would like to thank Eric and the search committee for putting their faith in me and trusting me to lead the program. Also I would like to thank my mentors who developed me as a coached and helped me reach this point in my career. This was too good an opportunity to pass up and I'm excited to get started." Nelson is a native of New Richmond, Wis., and graduated from UMD In 1998 with degrees in elementary education and communication.