Niecee Nelson enters her eighth season as an assistant coach at USD. "The University of San Diego has given me an opportunity of a lifetime. I work in an amazing environment, on a campus that is second to none with a strong academic curriculum and a thriving athletic department. I've had the opportunity to help build a winning tradition and influence the lives of our student-athletes. It is an honor to call San Diego "home" and a privilege to coach on this staff."
On the court, Nelson's responsibilities include point guard and shooting guard development. Last season she helped guide Kiva Herman to a First-Team, All-Conference selection as well as an All-tournament award at the West Coast Conference Championships in Vegas. Herman broke the single season scoring record at USD and had a record-breaking performance during the teams' four game run at the championship. This is the fourth guard to graduate and pursue a professional basketball career overseas since Nelson joined the staff. Nelson also helped Dominique Conners earn a spot on the All-freshman team and ultimately gain recognition on the All-WCC tournament team last season.
Off the court, Nelson is responsible for overseeing the teams' academic progress, organizing of team travel, managing the overall budget, and ordering of team equipment. She shares the duties of recruiting as well as the scouting of opponents.
In 2012-13, Nelson helped lead to an overall record of 22-10, the second most wins in program history, and reached the second round of the WNIT. USD also had a 12-4 mark in the WCC, good for sole possession of second place in the WCC, and San Diego managed to reach the championship game of the WCC Tournament. This marked only the second time in program history that USD has made back-to-back postseason appearances, and both times have come under the watchful eye of head coach Cindy Fisher and coach Nelson. USD did all of this despite losing a pair of 1,000-point scorers, and the team's leading rebounder from the previous season. Coach Nelson helped the Toreros produced the WCC Freshman of the Year in Maya Hood, and had three total players earn All-WCC honors, highlighted by first-teamer Amy Kame.
In the 2012-13 season, Nelson helped the Toreros soar to new heights, and reach uncharted waters. USD posted a 26-9 overall record, and a 12-4 mark in the WCC, both win totals were program bests. The Toreros finished second place in the WCC with NCAA Tournament participant BYU, then went on to record the program's first postseason win, as USD defeated Cal State Northridge in the first round of the WNIT, 60-58 inside the Jenny Craig Pavilion. USD was not in uncharted waters, but this didn't slow down the Torero machine, as San Diego advanced to the Final Four of the WNIT. USD reached the Final Four by defeating Pacific at home, then picked up road wins against Texas Tech, and Washington, before falling to eventual WNIT champion Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla. This is now considered the best season in program history.
In only her third season with the Toreros, Nelson helped guide the team back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years, as USD won the WCC Tournament championship with a 70-66 win over top-seeded Gonzaga. The 2007-08 season marks back-to-back trips to the postseason for the Toreros with Nelson on the coaching staff.
During only her second season, she helped guide the Toreros to their biggest turn around in program history, a 12-game improvement from 9-19 in the 2005-06 season to a 21-9 record in 2006-07 season. Under Nelson's guidance, the Toreros placed three players on the All-WCC lists, including the WCC Co-Player of the Year Amanda Rego.
During her first year with the Toreros, Nelson worked closely with the development of the guards, helping to guide Tiara Harris to a first-team All-WCC selection and Kelly Winther being named to the All-WCC Freshman team.
Nelson came to USD after spending one season at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). While at IPFW Nelson's primary responsibilities were team travel, post player development, marketing and academic support. Within two months of arriving at IPFW, Nelson was promoted to recruiting coordinator leading the charge in overseas recruiting into Brazil and Europe. Nelson's marketing efforts helped increase attendance at the women's basketball games for the 2004-2005 season.
Prior to working at IPFW, she worked as a graduate assistant at the University of Wyoming with current USD head coach Cindy Fisher. Nelson worked closely with the staff and team on practice and game day coaching, individual workouts, academic support, film exchange, and guard and post development. She helped the Cowgirls culminate a 18-12 mark in 2002-03. The 18 wins were the school's most victories since 1989-90. She also helped lead the Cowgirls to their first postseason appearance since 1989-90 with a trip to the 2003 WNIT, where Wyoming notched a first-round win over Montana. The WNIT win over Montana marked the first postseason victory in Wyoming women's basketball history.
Nelson was a two-time NAIA All-American at Concordia University in Portland, Ore. She was also named to the Lutheran Brotherhood All-American Team, and was a scholar-athlete. Nelson was chosen as the Cascade Conference Freshman-of-the-year in her first year at Concordia.
Nelson graduated with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education in 2002 from Concordia, and a master of science degree in kinesiology and health in 2004 from the University of Wyoming. She resides in San Diego with her husband Steve and son Sebastian.
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