Aug. 2, 2004
Baltimore, Md. - Mike Nelson has been named assistant men's soccer coach at Loyola College. The former Greyhound captain and four-year starter replaces Bill Wnek, who became Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance and Student-Athlete Welfare at Evergreen earlier this summer."We're very excited to have Mike Nelson on our staff," says Loyola Head Soccer Coach Mark Mettrick. "He brings a no-nonsense approach and I feel his personality will benefit our current team."Nelson co-captained the Greyhounds to one of their finest seasons at Division I, leading Loyola to the 2001 NCAA Round of 16. He earned first-team All-MAAC honors that season starting all 21 games at defense. That season, Nelson scored three goals, including the game-winner in Loyola's 1-0 win at Maryland. The `Hounds finished 17-2-2 overall and posted a 53-20-7 record over Nelson's four seasons."I'm excited to be back at Loyola," says Nelson. "I want to help my school build a successful program and compete in the NCAA Tournament like we did when I played."Nelson finished his collegiate career with nine goals, eight assists and 26 points. After starting 16 of 19 matches his freshman season, Nelson started every game of his sophomore, junior and senior campaigns. As a sophomore, he earned all-tournament honors at Loyola's Fila Classic. His junior season, he registered seven points (fourth best on team) and helped Loyola win its second straight MAAC regular season title."As a player, Mike had an exceptional enthusiasm and can-do attitude," says Mettrick. "He has lived Loyola soccer and was an essential part of a very successful team. Mike is a natural coach and leader."In 2001, Nelson teamed up with current Greyhound graduate assistant Niall Lepper and helped Loyola string together a 19-game unbeaten streak. The former co-captains will now work together on Mettrick's staff in hopes of capturing some of 2001's NCAA Tournament success."Working with Niall makes the transition a lot easier," says Nelson. "We played together and know each other very well. We're both very competitive and that will only help the team get better."Nelson, a Marlton, N.J. native, earned his bachelors degree in Communications in the spring of 2002 and has been working as a sales representative for a local construction company."I'm really looking forward to this opportunity," adds Nelson. "I want to be part of something special here."