Utah Valley University Athletic Director Jared Sumsion announced on Monday the hiring of Dan Nielson as the new head coach of women’s basketball. The hire marks a return to Orem for Nielson, who spent four seasons on Cathy Nixon‘s coaching staff from 2009-2013.
“Utah Valley University has a contagiously electric atmosphere with world-class facilities and limitless potential,” Nielson said. “I’ve continued to watch with awe and amazement how this university has grown. This is a place that I’ve held close to my heart, and I’m ready to get to work to help this program contend for WAC championships every year.”
At UVU, Nielson was part of two Great West Championships — one regular season and one tournament title — while recruiting and coaching nine All-Great West players.
“Dan Nielson has vast experience and knows what it takes to build and maintain a successful program,” said Sumsion. “He puts in the time necessary to motivate his players and staff that they can accomplish anything. Wolverine pride has poignant meaning for him.”
After four seasons as a UVU assistant coach, Nielson went on to help coach Brigham Young University teams that won 139 games, made four NCAA tournament appearances (including a Sweet 16 run in 2014), and captured a West Coast Conference regular season title in 2016.
Nielson worked a total of 18 years in women’s basketball at UVU and BYU, including four years as a UVU assistant, and positions at BYU as a film coordinator, director of operations, and as an assistant coach prior to being elevated to associate head coach under Jeff Judkins.
“Coach Nielson’s nearly two decades in women’s basketball will serve him well as our new head coach. He is someone our student-athletes can look up to and learn from,” said President Astrid S. Tuminez. “We are thrilled to welcome him back to The Den.”
A native of Round Rock, Texas, Nielson and his wife, Carly, are the parents of four children.