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New Richmond native Todd Nelson hired as head volleyball coach at St. Catherine University

Todd Nelson

For Todd Nelson, it’s a chance to be close to home.

After 17 years of coaching Division 1 college volleyball all over the midwest, Nelson has taken a coaching position that will put him within an hour of New Richmond, his home town. Nelson was hired last week as the head coach of the St. Catherine University volleyball program in St. Paul.

Nelson is a 1989 graduate of New Richmond High School, where he played baseball and basketball. He is a 1998 graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. It was at Duluth that he began his coaching career. His coaching stops include Indiana State, Marquette University, the University of Denver and most recently, Southern Illinois University.

Nelson was the top assistant coach at most of those assignments. He said his goal was to become a head coach and that he’s been looking for the right fit. Nelson said there are numerous reasons why he thinks St. Kate’s is an ideal fit for him, and that he’s the right fit for the university.

The switch from being an assistant coach to a head coach will carry many new responsibilities for Nelson.

“I’ve been blessed, each of the places I’ve been, they’ve offered me chances to take responsibility, to get my feet wet. Now I’ve got to figure out how to do it all at the same time,” Nelson said of the step up to head coach.

Nelson said there were a number of factors that weighed into the decision. His fiancee lives in Woodbury. He wanted to be a head coach in a strong conference and he said the MIAC is one of the strongest NCAA Division 3 conferences in the nation. He said the St. Kate’s facilities and staff are top quality.

“I was very appreciative to be offered the position, it was a no-brainer to accept it,” Nelson said.

St. Kate’s has an outstanding reputation for its academics. Nelson said that will be one of the top selling points he uses in recruiting, along with the location of the campus in a quiet area of St. Paul that is near several other universities.

“The Division 3 model is more about the student-athlete and their ability to balance academics and athletics,” Nelson said. “I loved coaching Division 1. I enjoyed the recruiting, everything about it. The D3 model at St. Kate’s is a purer student-athlete experience.”

St. Kate’s attracts students from all over the midwest. Two of the women on the volleyball roster attended area schools. Mackenzie Peper from Osceola and Hannah Flatness from Elk Mound are current members of the St. Kate’s squad.

Anyone looking to contact Nelson can do so through the St. Kate’s athletic website:

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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