Matt Thomas, Sports Information Director
DURANT – Southeastern Director of Athletics Keith Baxter has announced the hiring of Brian Nelson as the head coach of the Savage Storm men’s and women’s tennis teams.
“I am very excited to be joining the Southeastern family,”Nelson said. “The tennis programs have had great success in the past, and I plan to build on that and take it to the next level. SOSU is in a great situation to be a national contender in D2 tennis, and that will be our goal to make some noise on the regional and national scene.”
“We have a great group of experienced returning players. And I look forward to working with them and continue the level of success that they have been having. I would like to thank Athletic Director Keith Baxter for working with me and helping make this dream a reality to be back close to home and still be able to do what I love to do, coach college tennis! Let’s go Savage Storm!”
“We are excited to welcome Brian Nelson to Southeastern to lead our Tennis Program,” Baxter said. “Brian has extensive experience and success coaching both Men and Women’s teams, he has a great recruiting network and we feel he can continue to build on the success that our programs have had.”
Nelson, a native of Hugo, Oklahoma, spent the 2018-19 season as the head coach of the Wisconsin-Green Bay men’s and women’s tennis programs where his teams posted 11 wins in his first season that was highlighted by a first team All-Horizon League selection for James Ling.
Prior to UWGB, Nelson spent the 11 seasons at Seminole State College (SSC), a member of the NJCAA in Seminole, Okla.
Under Nelson’s direction, SSC finished National Runner-up in 2016, leading him to be named NJCAA/ITA Region 2 Coach of the Year for both the men and women. Nelson also won the award in 2009 for the women and garnered the 2016 Herschel Stephens Coaching Award for Outstanding Service, an award only given to a coach once in their lifetime.
He won his 300th career dual match during his final season at SSC, and has successfully graduated and moved on over 50 student-athletes to the NCAA Division I and Division II levels.
Nelson coached Guy Iradukunda for two seasons at SSC, before Iradukunda went on to Florida State University, where he earned ITA Southeast Senior Player of the Year honors along with various other team and individual accolades.
Nelson earned ITA Central Region NJCAA Women’s Coach of the Year honors in 2009 and 2015, and also won on the men’s side in 2015. He has coached 38 NJCAA/ITA Athletic All-Americans and 52 ITA Scholar-Athlete Award winners since 2007 at SSC.
He is a USPTA certified recreational coach and has served as the president of the NJCAA Men’s Tennis Coaches Association since 2015.
Nelson is also a member of the United States Tennis Association and earned both his Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree from East Central University in Ada, Okla.