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"Nicole is a talented and passionate coach," said Petrucelli. "She's a proven winner with an incredible work ethic. We're lucky to have her at SMU."
In her four seasons at SMU, the team has posted a 30-41-8 record and advanced to the Conference USA championship game in 2012. Nelson has helped eight Mustangs earn all-conference honors, including sophomore Claire Oates, who was named to the American Athletic Conference Second Team in 2014 and 2015.
During her time at OU (2008-2011), Nelson lead the Sooners to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010 as she was named Co-Big 12 Coach of the Year. She coached players to numerous all-conference and all-region honors as well as several academic awards.
In July 2010, Nelson worked with as a U.S. Soccer Region III age group coach. She has been a member of the Olympic Development Program for Region III for the past nine years and served as the head coach ofthe US soccer region III '97 Age Group from July 2010-May 2013. Nelson took the team to events in Costa Rica and on a European Tour in March of 2013, where the team played games in Germany and Switzerland.
Nelson spent two years as an assistant at Texas (2006-07) under Petrucelli, where she served as the recruiting coordinator. She helped coach a Longhorn team that won back-to-back postseason Big 12 Championships in 2006 and 2007, and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 both years. In 2005, Nelson served as the recruiting coordinator and an assistant coach at Baylor.
Prior to her stint at Baylor, Nelson served as the head coach of the Stephen F. Austin women's soccer team(2002-2004), leading the team to two Southland Conference Championships. In her second year at the helm, Nelson's Ladyjacks won the conference tournament and made the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2003. In 2004, SFA won the regular season Southland Championship and Nelson was named the conference coach of the year for the second consecutive season. She led 25 student-athletes to All-SLC honors over three seasons and left the Ladyjacks with the most wins in program history. Nelson served as an assistant at SFA during the 2001 season.
Before she started her career in coaching, Nelson played semi-professional soccer for the Austin Lonestars (W-League).
Following that stint, she worked with numerous clubs and camps before taking her first position in the collegiate ranks as a volunteer assistant at her alma mater in 2000-01.
She began her collegiate career at Texas A&M University as a freshman and concluded it at Oklahoma City University as an honorable mention All-American. At OCU, Nelson started every game, was the team captain from 1995-97, and was a three-time All-Sooner Athletic Conference member and Academic All-American.
Nelson earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish in 1997 at Oklahoma City University, graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors. She received her master's degree in kinesiology from Stephen F. Austin in May 2005.