Nelson named as Oklahoma's soccer coach

December 21, 2007

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma named Texas assistant Nicole Nelson as the Sooners' new soccer coach on Friday.

Nelson is the third coach in the history of Oklahoma's program, following Bettina Fletcher and Randy Evans. Evans resigned in November after a 6-10-3 season in which the Sooners failed to qualify for the Big 12 Conference tournament.

Nelson graduated from Mustang High School in 1993 and played for Oklahoma City University from 1995 to 1997.

"I am excited to return home to the state of Oklahoma to coach," Nelson said. "`Having grown up playing and coaching in this state, it is with tremendous pride that I accept this position."

Nelson started her coaching career in 2001 as an assistant at Stephen F. Austin. The following year, she began a three-year run as that school's head coach, going 33-19-9.

In 2005, she was an assistant at Baylor, then joined the Texas staff in 2006. The Longhorns have reached the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament during both of Nelson's years on their coaching staff.

"It became more and more evident that she was considered one of the rising stars in coaching and embodies what we need in this important leadership position," Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press