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Athletics Coaching Staff
Karen Nelson
Assistant Athletic Director
Coach Info:
Position: Assistant Athletic Director
Other Position: Asst. AD, Student Services
Phone: 541-346-6103

Karen Nelson was promoted to the assistant athletics director in charge of student services in the spring of 1997, continuing her role as the UO’s sports counselor.
She directs the SOAR (NCAA Champs/Life Skills) program and facilitates the counseling services and performance enhancement programs for teams and individual student-athletes.

Oregon was a pilot school for the NCAA Champs/Life Skills program in 1994 under the direction of Nelson. In her 11 years with the department, she has built the UO SOAR program into one of the NCAA’s Programs of Excellence. SOAR (Scholastic excellence, Outstanding character, Athletic achievement and Responsibility to self and others) offers opportunities for student-athletes to explore career interests, become role models in the community, succeed in the classroom and challenge their personal, social and athletic development.

Nelson earned her undergraduate degree in health and physical education from Oregon State University and received her master’s in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon.

She served as a basketball and volleyball coach, counselor and administrator at Eugene’s Marist High School from 1975-94.
Karen (1-16-46) is married to Tom Nelson. She has two sons, former Oregon football players Bob and Brett Brothers, and six stepchildren.