Jan. 29, 2007
(San Francisco) - University of San Francisco volleyball coach Jeff Nelson is stepping down as head coach to accept the head coaching position at the University of New Mexico, USF Athletic Director Debra Gore-Mann announced today. Nelson spent four successful seasons at USF and vaulted the Dons to the program's first 20-plus win season and inaugural NCAA Tournament berth in his first season on the Hilltop. A nation-wide search for a successor will begin immediately.
"We are grateful to Jeff and his staff for all the hard work they have done in building the volleyball program at USF," Gore-Mann said. "Jeff and his staff have represented our university and the athletic department well and we look forward to continuing to build the tradition of excellence he established for the program."
Nelson propelled USF to the most successful four-year run in program history at 76-51 (.600) while competing in a conference rated in the top-five in all of Division I. Nelson directed USF to three winning seasons, a pair of 20-win seasons, two upper division league showings and the first top-25 ranking in program history.
"It was a very difficult decision to leave USF," Nelson said. "The experience I have had with this program has been fantastic. I am so proud of the program and everyone who has been part of the accomplishments the last four years. While I am excited about my new opportunity, I leave with a heavy heart. The time I have spent here has been an outstanding experience for me and for my family."
San Francisco matched a program record with 23 victories in 2006, highlighted by a 14-match winning streak and posted a fourth place WCC finish. The Dons return six starters, featuring three All-WCC selections, headlined by First Team selection Kristin Hasselberg, who enters her senior season ranked fifth in career kills. USF also welcomes a highly accomplished recruiting class.
"There are many people to thank, who have supported the program and made it a special place to work," Nelson said. "First and foremost, I want to thank the administration for its support and for giving me the opportunity. The student-athletes who have chosen USF and have helped build the volleyball program have been amazing and I am so proud of them."