James Nelson
James Nelson
Title: Director of Athletics
Phone: 617-573-8379
Email: jnelson@suffolk.edu

For four decades, Jim Nelson has been an integral part of Suffolk University athletics.  He began working at Suffolk in 1966 as an assistant director of athletics and men's assistant basketball coach, and in 1975 was named director of athletics, a position he still holds today. 

From 1976 until 1995, he was head coach of the men's basketball team, guiding the Rams to appearances in the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament in each of his first two seasons at the helm.  He coached with the same passion he exemplified as a player, and taught his players valuable life lessons.

In 1960, Nelson was a Catholic League All-Star performer for North Cambridge Catholic High School, averaging 30.3 points per game.  He scored 45 points in a victory over Division I powerhouse Cambridge Rindge Technical High School, a record that stood for 30 years.  One year later, he led Huntington Prep to the New England Prep School Championship, and was named Most Valuable Player of the entire tournament.

Nelson's impressive past also includes starring at Boston College between 1962-65, playing under the tutelage of Eagles' coach and pro basketball legend Bob Cousy.  In addition, Nelson played professional basketball in Athens, Greece, and was a player-coach for the Cambridge YMCA team which was crowned New England YMCA Champions in 1970.

In 1992, Nelson was selected as a member of the inaugural National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division III Congress, a position he holds presently, serving as the association's NCAA Legislative Advisor.  He also served as the National Chairman of the NCAA Division III Basketball Committee from 1997-1999.

A highly respected individual in his profession, Nelson was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006, and received the tenth annual Outstanding Service Award from the NABC that same year.  In 2005, he was named a Sports Ethic Fellow by the Institute for International Sport, and in 1997, he received the New England Basketball Coaches Association Doggie Julian Award for Service to New England Collegiate Basketball. Nelson was also named Executive of the Year by the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) in 2010.

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