Coaching with a Purpose

Coach Nelson with one of his pro jerseys. Media by Gavin Jordan.

Chad Nelson from Grand Rapids, Michigan is the new Men’s Greenville University volleyball head coach.

Throughout Nelson’s high school days, many people, including himself, thought he was going to be a basketball player, after being a McDonald’s All-American athlete in high school. After being around the sport of volleyball for such a long time, Coach Nelson started to realize that he developed a passion for the sport and knew that he wanted to continue playing after high school.

Nelson was a highly recruited player coming out of high school and felt like it was the best opportunity for his future. Nelson moved to Illinois in 2002 when he went to college at Lincoln Christian University and obtained his degree. When it comes to sports, Coach Nelson has the required experience to succeed, as he coached volleyball, tennis, softball, golf, basketball, and baseball. After coaching multiple sports, Nelson stated, “After winning a National Championship in my first year coaching volleyball, I felt like there was something in me at that point telling me that this is what I was made to do.”

Ever since winning a National Championship, Nelson stuck with volleyball.

Our new GU Men’s Volleyball Coach. Media from

One of the things that Nelson really enjoys while being a coach is helping and seeing his athletes grow. Seeing his players grow from the beginning of the recruiting stage to when they leave college— starting families and careers of their own— is something really special for Nelson and an essential part (and pleasure) of being a coach.

One of the most cherished moments in Coach Nelson’s life is having his former players and teammates attend his wedding. Actions like that can have the most impact on certain people. Being a part of sports has given Nelson many life long relationships throughout the years and there isn’t anything that can replace that.

For Coach Nelson, seeing the joy in his players’ face is what keeps him going. Being able to have the opportunity to make an impact on many people’s lives is a great feeling and a blessing for Coach Nelson. He said that there are not many people out there who get the opportunity to coach volleyball at the collegiate level. Coach Nelson is a coach that is trying to create the best program possible for the players and coaching staff. Being a first-year coach at Greenville gives Nelson the opportunity to start from scratch. His athletes and the athletic department as a whole are interested to see what he has planned next for the volleyball program.

Coach Nelson addressing the team prior to the season. Media from

If there is anything that comes before volleyball for Coach Nelson, it would be his faith. Before every game, the team always recites a prayer to the Lord as they take on their opponent. Coach Nelson stated, “God gave us the athletic ability and passion to play sports and if we are not doing it for Him, we are not doing it for the right reasons.”

To finish off the season, there are high hopes that the men’s Greenville volleyball team will make it into the conference tournament and compete against the best teams.

Media by Gavin Jordan.


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