October 30 - Scott Nelson has been hired as the new head coach at South County High School, the magazine confirmed earlier today.
A native of Minnesota who played collegiately at Division II Minnesota Duluth, Nelson coached for one year at a private school near his alma mater before moving to the area to attend graduate school at George Washington. He later joined the staff at West Potomac, where he served as the junior varsity head coach from 2008-10 and as a varsity assistant from 2011-18.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Nelson said. “South County has had one of the best high school programs in the area over the past decade - of course you think of the 2011 team [that went 28-1 and advanced to the Group AAA state final] - and I can’t wait to get going.”
Nelson, 36, coached for his entire tenure with the Wolverines under former coach Jim Sullivan, who he credits for preparing him for his first head coaching position. “Jim is, was, and will be my mentor going forward,” he said. “He’s passed along a lot of good info to me, the biggest being that the kids are the most important thing. They are what it’s really all about, what changes your perspective and really motivates you.”
South County’s new director of student activities, Brett Garner, interviewed Nelson and other candidates on Friday and called him yesterday to offer the position. Garner also comes from a baseball background, having played at Lake Braddock and James Madison University, then serving as an assistant under former Bruins coach Jody Rutherford before getting into administration.
“Coach Nelson comes to South County with a breadth of leadership and baseball experience both at the high school and collegiate level,” Garner wrote in an email today. “[At West Potomac], he helped to elevate the program to some highest levels of success in school history.”
Nelson will become the Stallions’ third coach in as many years, as Mark Luther’s second tenure with the program lasted just one season. He inherits a program that went 9-12 last spring, when its season ended with a 7-4 loss to Robinson in the Patriot District quarterfinals. Since fielding its first team in 2006, South County has been one of Northern Virginia’s most-consistent programs, averaging 15.2 wins per season and winning four district championships. The program’s most-recent league title came in 2013 under coach Robbie Smith.
“We’ve only got a little over 100 days until the season,” Nelson said. “I know they’ve got some really strong pieces coming back that we can work with, and in talking to some parents I know that we’ve got some nice [players] coming up.
“I’m really excited to get to work.”
Photo of Scott Nelson courtesy of West Potomac Baseball