Getting to Know Basketball Head Coach Robert Nielson

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Robert Nielson is the Athletic Director and Head Coach of the men’s basketball team at Snow College. He’s been the basketball coach since 2012. Coach Nielson has a lot of coaching experience; he’s been coaching since the 1990s. He has a lot of college education as well. He has an Associate’s Degree from Ricks College and a Bachelor’s Degree in international business from BYU-Hawaii, not to mention that he played basketball at BYU-Hawaii as well. You can read more about his college education in his biography on Snow.edu. 

Jay Whitman was Nielson’s ninth-grade coach. He’s the one that inspired Coach Nielson to pursue the career that he has today. Wagner is another coach that inspired him, giving him the opportunity to coach and worked with him to reach that goal. Nielson had a coach named Ted who worked under Hall of Famer Bobby Knight. Knight is not liked by all in the basketball community, Nielson however said, “He did a lot of really good things for hospitals and kids and things that people don’t know about as well”. Nielson’s coach at Utah State was an assistant under Bobby Knight for seven years. 

Coach Nielson’s philosophy for the game of basketball is to teach his players how to play the game of basketball. Being smarter than the other team, executing well, and having the correct mental state are the main points he discusses with his team. 

Coach Nielson has traveled to many continents such as North America and Asia. He loves to travel in general, he’ll travel anywhere. The Lake District of England is one of his favorite places, with all the lakes and mountains. 

Coach Nielson got his first head coaching opportunity at Dixie State University. It was a part-time job, but it was something that he wanted to do and it was also something to help support his family. He then went back to BYU-Hawaii and coached there. From then on out, he has been coaching in the college ranks. 

For Coach Nielson, basketball has changed him off the court by helping him understand the importance of teamwork. The ability to rely on and work with teammates. When on a team, it’s not just about one person. 

Small Forward Hayden Franson said, “He’ll point out our weaknesses and then coach us, giving us ways to strengthen our weaknesses”.

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