Nic Nelson - Athletic Director | Briar Cliff University
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Nic Nelson

Nic Nelson

Athletic Director

Department: Athletic Department
Phone: 712-279-1761
Office Location: Newman Flanagan 312


  • B.A., Morningside College.
  • M.S., Health Science, Fort Hays State (Kan.) University.
Nic Nelson


Nic Nelson was named the athletic director at Briar Cliff in March 2017. As athletic director, he oversees the University's 18-sport intercollegiate athletic program, which competes at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) level.

Prior to taking his current role, Nelson was the head men's basketball coach for six seasons. During his time as a head coach, he held the highest winning percentage of any coach in University history. His teams also consistently earned “NAIA Scholar Team” status for their high academic performance; proof of Nelson’s commitment to excellence both in competition and the classroom.

In both 2016 and 2017, Nelson was recognized as the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Coach of the Year. In 2016, Nelson was also recognized as the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year and winner of the NAIA's national “All That’s Right in Sports” award. Under Nelson’s leadership, the men’s basketball team also earned the title of GPAC champions in 2016 and 2017.

Prior to becoming the Chargers’ head coach in 2011, Nelson spent four years as the program’s top assistant. Nelson came to Briar Cliff from Central College, where he served as an assistant coach for three seasons. Prior to Central, Nelson was the varsity boys’ basketball coach at Ogden High School, where he was tabbed as the Mid-Iowa Coach of the Year.

The 2001 Morningside graduate was a four-year baseball letterwinner for the Mustangs. The two-time team MVP went on to play two seasons of professional baseball, including a season with the Sioux City Explorers in 2000.

Nelson is actively involved in the community and with several charitable organizations, including St. Michael Catholic Church, Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Muscular Dystrophy Association and Camp High Hopes. Nelson and his wife, Michelle, reside in Sioux City with their two daughters, Grace and Claire.