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Speaking of Brazil... we have a new volleyball coach

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Speaking of Brazil... we have a new volleyball coach

Via the NaplesNews:

Florida Gulf Coast University assistant volleyball coach Fernanda Nelson is taking over as head coach at Florida Atlantic after four years with the Eagles.

“As a head coach, you kind of become a proud parent because you know what a quality coach she is,” Nichols said. “She’s completely ready and deserves a chance to improve her status and income. So it’s bittersweet because I adore her and she’s been great for the program. At the same time, we take pride when our people get great opportunities.”

It will be the first time for the former member of the Brazilian national team — in 1997 she was named the top setter in her native country — and NAIA Hall of Famer (after twice being named the national player of the year at National American University) to lead a program.

Ink must not even be dry on the contract… FAU Sports website doesn't have an announcement about this.

Anyway, according to the school's website, FGCU V-Ball was #3 (behind Belmont and Lipscomb) in the A-Sun conference with a 10-3, 18-13 record last year.

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Re: Speaking of Brazil... we have a new volleyball coach

Hopefully a great player will also be a great coach. I wish her much sucess.

That is two nice looking lady coaches in a row hired on.  Go Melissa!!

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Re: Speaking of Brazil... we have a new volleyball coach

Here's FAU's Release…


Fernanda Nelson has been named Florida Atlantic University’s head volleyball coach, announced Melissa Dawson, FAU’s  interim athletics director.

“We are excited to have Fernanda take the reins of our volleyball program,” said Dawson. “We believe her successful playing and coaching career, as well as her passion for the sport of volleyball will propel the program to new heights.”

Nelson becomes the fifth head coach in FAU volleyball history and will look to make her mark as a first-year head coach after serving as an assistant at Florida Gulf Coast University for the last four seasons. While at FGCU, Nelson helped the Eagles to a 63-43 overall record (46-17 Atlantic Sun Conference record) and the 2008 regular season A-Sun title. She also assisted head coach Dave Nichols in guiding FGCU to a winning record in its first season of sand volleyball in 2012.

“I am very excited to be joining the FAU family.  I would like to thank FAU President Mary Jane Saunders and Melissa Dawson for giving me the opportunity to start my head coaching career,” said Nelson. “I would also like to thank FGCU head volleyball coach Dave Nichols and FGCU for helping me realize my dream of heading my own volleyball program. I’m looking forward to leading a great group of girls, turning the program around and winning championships.”

One of the best setters in the storied history of the Brazilian National Team and named Brazil’s best setter in 1997, Nelson helped FGCU setter Roberta Santos and outside hitter Ana Kokanvic, two of the best players in FGCU history, earn first team All-Atlantic Sun honors in their senior campaign. Additionally, libero Holly Youngquist was a two-time second-team All-Atlantic Sun selection under Nelson’s charge. In four seasons, Nelson has helped coach seven All-Atlantic Sun selections (three first team), four conference Freshmen Team honorees, a unanimous A-Sun Freshman of the Year, an ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 selection (Holly Youngquist; second team) and 27 A-Sun All-Academic selections.

The position at FGCU came after eight years as both a player and a coach at National American University in Sioux City, South Dakota. Nelson arrived at NAU in 2000 and earned second-team NAIA All-American honors as a freshman. She was National Player of the Year as both a sophomore and a senior and led NAU to a national championship as a junior. Nelson ended her career as a three-time All-American selection. She was named to the NAU coaching staff immediately following the conclusion of her playing career. While an assistant, NAU won four straight regional championships and the 2006 NAIA National Championship.

Nelson and her husband Ethan have a daughter, Bella.

Nelson’s Coaching Resume

Assistant Coach, Florida Gulf Coast University (2008-2012)

Assistant Coach, National American University (2004-2008)
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