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Olpe’s Jesse Nelson named NFHS National Coach of the Year

West head coach Jesse Nelson, from Olpe, Kan. during the McDonald's All-American girls...
West head coach Jesse Nelson, from Olpe, Kan. during the McDonald's All-American girls basketball game, Wednesday, March 30, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton) (Matt Marton | AP)
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 4:29 PM CST
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OLPE, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas’ all-time winningest coach, Olpe’s Jesse Nelson, has been named the girls basketball National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Nelson announced his retirement in May after 44 years on the sidelines. He finished with a 951-111 record and four state championships.

“I’ve always looked at is as I get to go along with them, I get to ride along with them, but it’s really things that a great group of kids have done,” Nelson told 13 Sports in May. “And I’ve had nothing but really good kids to work with over that time.”

The 2021 KBCA High School Coach of the Year earned a proper send-off his final season; the Eagles capped off a 25-0 season with a 1A Division I State Title.

“What drives me is seeing the expressions and the looks on girls’ faces when they win games they shouldn’t win or they win those great big games — the game that sends you to the State tournament,” Nelson said “That’s what I think keeps me going, has kept me going for so long. That’s probably the part I’ll miss the most.”

Among his many accolades, Nelson was named the 2014 USA Today America’s Best Girls Basketball Coach National Champion.

He was later chosen to coach the 2016 McDonald’s All-American game.

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