University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin announced today that UMD head football coach Bob Nielson has been named Director of Athletics effective December 1. Nielson came to UMD in 1999 and has served as head football coach since that time. He was chosen from a pool of candidates in a nation wide search.
Nielson took the UMD football program to unprecedented heights last fall, and is one of ten head coaches from the NCAA Division II who comprise the 2003 American Football Monthly's annual "Hot List". In 2002 Nielson was a finalist for the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year. He was named NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year for 1998 by the Football Gazette.
Before joining UMD, Nielson was Associate Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire from 1996 to 1999. He was Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Wartburg College from 1991 to February 1996.
He earned a master's degree in Physical Education from the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, Iowa), and a bachelor of arts degree from Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa). At UMD, he currently serves as chair of the UMD Departmental Budget Committee, and as a member of the Fundraising Committee, and the Youth & Community Programs Committee.
Chancellor Martin said, "I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Bob Nielson as UMD's new Director of Athletics. He brings excellent skills both as a coach and as an administrator, and will provide strong leadership for UMD's exceptional team of coaches, staff and student athletes."
Nielson, his wife Terri, and their three children are well integrated into the community. Twins (son and daughter), Kyle and Kasey are in the third grade at Hermantown School. Their daughter Amanda is a freshman at UMD.
Vice Chancellor for University Relations Bill Wade will continue serving as Interim Athletics Director until December 1, when Nielson takes over. The two will work together to provide a smooth leadership transition.