Bryant & Stratton College, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Hometown: Elk City, Oklahoma
Education: Central Christian College (KS); Western Oklahoma State College; Phoenix College
Email: gcwind14 [at] gmail.com
The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching a part of your career.
The second my playing career ended I knew I couldn’t stay away from the game. We got knocked out of the playoffs and I went to my host house that night, packed up and left the next morning. The next day I started sending my resume to every possible opening I saw, I was lucky enough to get an opportunity at Lakeland University and have been coaching ever since.
Outside of mentors, talk about one or more ways you’ve learned some aspect of coaching.
Trial and error has been one way I’ve learned. Like sometimes I’ll think “Maybe let’s do this” or “Hey let’s try that”. You’ll learn quickly what will and what won’t work with certain guys that way. Another big thing for me has been podcasts, honestly. Whether it’s Top Coach, ABCA, The Farm System, you name it. Listening to coaches all across the country at every level has allowed me to try and incorporate some of the things I’ve heard these guys say into how I go about it at our program.
Best career or work advice you ever received.
My manager when I got to play indy ball was Bill Moore. That guy has forgotten more about baseball than I could ever possibly learn. I was lucky enough that he asked me to come be his assistant coach for the Tucson Saguaros in the summer of ’18. This is a guy who now has over 1400 wins in his coaching career. He told me “Nellie, you got to let the players play. You can micromanage them all you want but at the end of the day, they’re going to play their game. So let them.”
If you could go back to your rookie coach self and give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t be scared to speak up. I remember I’d see someone do something wrong or just being lazy with it and I’d tell myself. “Let the head coach or head assistant bring it up, they won’t listen to me.” All rookie coaches don’t be afraid to speak up to your players. They’ll listen because they’ll realize you care about the program.
Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?
This is tough. I’m a die hard Oklahoma Sooner fan, so it’d probably be Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma Football. I mean to put up the numbers that he has as a coach in just a couple of years is outrageous. He’s coached the Heisman trophy winner in both his first two years as a HC at Oklahoma. Both of which went on to be the number 1 overall draft pick in the NFL. The best part is all you ever hear about when his players are interviewed is how great of a guy Lincoln is and how much he cares about them as people. I’d for sure geek out if we were in the same room.
Can’t wait for this interview! Nellie is a great guy!