Snow AD Rob Nielson to serve as interim men's basketball coach
August 14, 2012
Ephraim, UT—Snow College athletic director Robert Nielson will serve as interim head men's basketball coach during the 2012-13 season. Nielson will continue his duties as athletic director while the school takes time to conduct a national search for a coach to take over the Badger program.
Following the resignation of Mike Ostlund just three weeks before the start of classes, president Scott Wyatt and the athletic department considered various options before deciding that Nielson would be the best choice to coach the team through this season.
Nielson is no stranger to coaching as he returns to the court with over 25 years of experience. He has coached basketball at the college level at Dixie State, Utah State University, the University of Iowa and BYU-Hawaii. For 10 years before coming to Snow he served in various roles including executive dean of student services, athletic director and head basketball coach at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore.
"With Rob's experience coaching and his good working relationship with the players I am confident we will have an exciting, winning season this year,” President Wyatt commented. “I look forward to seeing Rob back on the court." Wyatt added that Nielson knows the team members and can be ready for the start of practice next week. Nielson has conducted coaching and player clinics in New Zealand, Korea, China, Mexico and Canada.
Nielson will be assisted on the bench by Chris Gold who was hired under Ostlund and brings a great deal of talent and experience to the program. Gold was the director of basketball operations for Weber State University for the past two years. He has spent time as a volunteer for the Denver Nuggets coaching staff and began his coaching career at his alma mater, Kansas Wesleyan, after earning a degree in sports management in 2008.
Ostlund decided to leave Snow College on July 30 following his most successful season in his five years at the helm. The Badgers finished 23-9 overall last season and tied for second place in the Scenic West Athletic Conference. His teams amassed a won-loss record of 83-73 at Snow during his tenure.
The Badgers begin their season as they play in the Gillette College Tournament in Wyoming where they will take on Casper College Nov. 2 and Sheridan College the following night. They will open at home on Nov. 12 against Monroe College from New Rochelle, N.Y. which finished last season ranked third in the nation with a record of 29-3.