Nielson named assistant women's basketball coach

BYU head women’s basketball coach Jeff Judkins announced today the appointment of Dan Nielson as an assistant coach on his staff.

“We are excited to have Dan back in our program,” Judkins said. “He brings a lot of energy, knowledge and experience which will help us in our recruiting both in state and throughout the nation. Dan is a great young coach, and he has proven himself, playing a key role in the success that the women’s basketball program at Utah Valley University has had during his time there.”

Nielson spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach at Utah Valley University under former BYU All-American Cathy Nixon. During those four years, the Wolverines won one regular-season Great Western Conference title and advanced to the league championship game three times and won the title once. 

While there, he coached the post players, including Wolverine standout Sammie Jensen who was a two-time MVP in the conference and was the second leading rebounder in the nation last season.

“I’m really excited to come back and work with coach Judkins and his staff,” Nielson said.  “This is a great opportunity for me to become a better coach and to compete for conference championships and to play in the NCAA tournament. It was really tough for me to leave UVU. I had a great experience while there.”

This is Nielson’s second stint with the Cougar women’s program. He spent four years with the team as director of operations, a graduate assistant, a volunteer practice player and a basketball summer camps counselor for both the men’s and women’s team.

Nielson hails from Round Rock, Texas, where he was a two-time All-District 14 honoree while at Round Rock High School.  He served a mission to Caracas, Venezuela. Nielson, his wife Carly and their two daughters reside in American Fork, Utah.

Nielson replaces Chris Boettcher, who stepped down to take a position as the head coach of the Shiga Lake Stars men’s professional team in Japan earlier this summer.

“I really appreciate all of the things Chris did to make our program successful during the past four years,” Judkins commented. “He was an immense help to me in this program and a great friend. I’m happy for this new opportunity he has to be a head coach. I know he will be successful in his new position, and this will be a great experience for him and his family.”