Eastern New Mexico University (1993)
Now in her 12th season at the helm of the San Jacinto College volleyball program, Head Coach Sharon Nelson has established herself not only among the best coaches in San Jacinto College volleyball history, but among the best in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) as well. Her 332-105 overall record is seventh among active NJCAA Division I coaches. She was named the 2010 and 2012 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Southwest Region Two-Year Coach of the Year and has earned eight consecutive Region XIV coach of the year honors. In 2011, Nelson added Central Campus Athletic Director to her duties, after longtime AD Scott Gernander retired.
Since she arrived at San Jacinto College in 2002, Nelson’s teams have won nearly 76 percent of their matches, claimed eight consecutive conference titles, and finished in the top 11 at the national tournament in each of the last eight seasons… No small feat for a head coach at any level. As she does every season, Nelson has again positioned herself and her team to vie for an unprecedented ninth-straight conference championship and a return trip to the NJCAA national tournament.
Last seaosn, San Jacinto College finished third in the nation, after posting a 29-1 regular season and winning the Region XIV tournament for the seventh-straight season. Overall, San Jac went 36-3, and had five players sign National Letters of Intent to continue their education and volleyball careers at senior institutions. Nelson earned AVCA Southwest Region Two-Year Coach of the Year, and two playes earned NJCAA All-American honors. San Jacinto College was the top-ranked team for much of the 2012 season under Nelson's tutelage.
San Jac finished fourth at the 2011 national tournament, with an overall record of 32-5. Six players were named to the All-Region XIV team, and San Jac grabbed the newcomer (Marie Pierre-Bakima), co-setter (Kanoe Pupuhi), and player (Jazmine Green) of the year. Bakima and Green were also recognized by COBRA Magazine and named to the All-Southwest Region team.
The 2010 season was the most successful under Nelson, as she guided her team to a 29-10 overall record, including another perfect conference season at 10-0. San Jac advanced to the national tournament for a sixth-straight year, finishing as the national runner up. The second place finish was the highest national finish for any Nelson-coached team. Six players were named to the all-conference team, including Alyssa Dibbern and Candace Soares who were also named NJCAA and American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Americans. San Jac earned the conference player, setter, newcomer, and coach of the year honors, and had six sophomores sign national letters of intent to play volleyball at four-year institutions.
In 2009, Nelson had to dig deep to build a squad that finished 32-9 overall, and made its fifth-straight appearance at the NJCAA tournament. With only four returning players from the previous season, San Jac proved many people wrong. Six players earned a spot on the all-conference team, including Christie Dorch who was named the conference player and offensive player of the year, and Alyssa Dibbern who was named the Region XIV freshman of the year. Four players went on to earn scholarships to NCAA schools, and Nelson earned her fifth-consecutive Region XIV District M coach of the year.
In 2008, San Jac made its fourth straight trip to the national tournament, finishing with a 33-3 overall record, including a perfect 10-0 in conference play. Five players, including all four sophomores and one freshman, signed to play with Division II schools. Setter Abbey Parker led the nation in assists per game for most of the season, and Zuzana Cizova finished fifth in kills per game. Nelson was named the Region XIV coach of the year, Cizova was the conference’s player of the year, and Parker earned setter of the year honors. In addition, five players were named to the all-conference team.
In 2007, Nelson’s squad came together in a big way. Led by a class of sophomores (of which four went on to play at NCAA Division I or II institutions), San Jac finished the season with a record of 30-13, and made its third-consecutive trip to the national championship where they finished sixth. SJC blew through its Region XIV opponents, winning all 13 matches, dropping only two sets along the way. San Jac was ranked in the top 20 throughout much of the season, and finished sixth at the national tournament. Two players were named all-region, and Nelson was crowned the Region XIV District M Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year.
SJC was the region champion in both 2005 and 2006, and Nelson earned the District M Coach of the Year both years (sharing the honor with then-assistant coach Jeff Ham). San Jac finished 11th and eighth, respectively, at the national tournament. In 2006, freshman middle blocker Nyla Ware was named an NJCAA all-American, and five of Nelson’s players were named all-conference. The 2005 season saw Nelson’s players nab five all-region selections, and another NJCAA all-American honor.
Nelson began her San Jac career in 2002, guiding her squad to a second-place conference finish that year. In all, Nelson’s San Jac squads have garnered six conference championships.
Nelson is no stranger to the Houston area, having grown up just south of the city in Manvel. She graduated from Alvin High School in 1988, and went on to attend Alvin Community College, where she graduated in 1990. While at Alvin, Nelson was an all-conference, all-region, and All-American selection. She then went on to play at Eastern New Mexico University, where she was a two-time all-conference and academic all-American. Nelson holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology, and a Master’s of Science in Biochemistry, both from Eastern New Mexico University.
Nelson and her husband, Tim, have been married for 15 years. Nelson’s children are Gaberiel (22), Haley (14), and Josef (10).
Coach Nelson Year-by-Year