Nelson, along with her coaching staff and the 2008 Sooners, will hold a free clinic for the Norman community on April 17. Click here to find out more information or to register.
Q: Tell us about background in soccer. How did you get started in coaching?
A: I started coaching while I was still in college- I coached two teams during those years: a U-10 recreational team and the U-18 OKC Shockers club team. I also worked soccer camps every summer during my collegiate career. My first head coaching job at the Division I level was at Stephen F. Austin State University (Southland Conference).
Q: Why did you want to come back to the state and coach at OU? Is this a dream job being from Oklahoma?
A: I have had my sites set on being the head coach at OU since I got into coaching at this level. And yes- OU is my dream job! Growing up a Sooner Fan and not having the opportunity to represent OU as an athlete contributed to my desire to represent this great university as a coach. My goal is to make winning championships an OU "tradition".
Q: What are your thoughts on the potential of program?
A: This program has the potential to win Big 12 Championships and National Championships. We will focus on the development of the "whole" student athlete on and off the field by creating an environment that holds them accountable and sets the achievement bar higher than it has ever been for them. Changing the culture is going to be very important in the early month and year. We will use the standard of excellence that currently exists in both Academics and Athletics at OU to leverage Sooner Soccer to the standard of success.
Q: What are your thoughts on the facilities?
A: We have an incredible facility that is second to none; the commitment to success is evident when you look at our facility. Our facility is unique in that it allows the crowd to be very involved with what is happening in the game because they sit very close to the field. It is the perfect soccer environment and unique in the Big 12.
Q: Where have you focused your recruiting efforts in the past and where will they go now at OU?
A: The focus in recruiting is that we recruit the best players in the nation. Oklahoma will always be priority in recruiting; we want the best players in Oklahoma to play at OU. We will also spend a lot of time in general recruiting in the Southern Region, with an emphasis being on the state of Texas. But I cannot emphasize enough that we are willing to recruit from any part of the country; wherever we have to go to find the best players.
Q: What style of play will you bring to OU? What can fans expect?
A: We want to play a style of soccer that is exciting to watch that keeps the crowd coming back for more. So we will be an attack oriented team. When we have the ball, our focus will be possession and to penetrate or create goal scoring opportunities. When we don't have the ball, we will put a lot of pressure on teams to get the ball back.
Q: What are your thoughts on the state of women's collegiate soccer? Growing in popularity? Fading?
A: Without question it is growing in popularity. Just look at the number of programs that have been added in the past 10 years at both the collegiate and club levels. In 2009, the women's professional league will be back, so again, it is growing in popularity every day in our country and throughout the world.