In his first interview with BallStateSports.com since being named the Cardinals' Associate Head Coach, men's basketball assistant Brett Nelson joins Joel Godett to discuss his coaching background, his relationship with James Whitford and his time as a player at the University of Florida.
A former All-American at Florida, Nelson comes to Ball State after assistant coaching stops at Marshall, Arkansas and, most recently, Drake. He has worked in college basketball for eight seasons, including six on the bench as an assistant coach. Nelson spent the past two years at Drake, highlighted by a 2011-12 season when he helped the Bulldogs, coached by Mark Phelps, to a tie for third place in the Missouri Valley Conference. Drake earned its first postseason victory in 37 years with a win in the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
Before his time at Drake, Nelson coached the 2010-11 season at Arkansas under head coach John Pelphrey. He helped the Razorbacks to a third-place finish in the SEC Western Division.
Best known for his time as a player for Billy Donovan at Florida, Nelson was a three-year starter and a member of four NCAA Tournament teams. He was a freshman on the Gators’ 2000 team that reached the national championship game. He completed his career ranked first in school history in 3-pointers made (274) and attempted (689), second in steals (199), sixth in assists per game (3.16) and 14th in points (1,416).
Nelson finished second in the SEC’s Most Valuable Player voting as a freshman in 1999-2000. He was a third-team All-American by ESPN.com and an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press in 2000-01, and he later was a preseason semifinalist for the Naismith Award as a senior in 2002-03.