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Women's Basketball

NJCAA Division III Coach of the Year Shannon Nelson – Northland (4th S

Despite entering the NJCAA DIII Women’s Basketball National Championship as the No. 7 seed, Shannon Nelson’s Northland Pioneers defeated the top three seeds in three days to win their first national title. The Pioneers defeated No. 2-seed Onondaga 58-57 in the quarterfinals and followed up with a 77-72 win over No. 3 seed Anoka-Ramsey (Minn.). Nelson’s squad capped off their run with a 69-60 victory over top-seeded defending national champion Rock Valley (Ill.). Northland won their final 22 games of the season to finish with a 27-1 overall record. After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 2006, Nelson was hired by Northland as an academic coordinator. She was later named women’s basketball head coach in 2010. While at Minnesota, Nelson was a two-year captain for the Golden Gophers and was named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team in her junior and senior seasons. Nelson led Minnesota to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and a Final Four in 2004. - See more at: