Jake Nelp joined the Mercer men’s basketball staff for the 2010-11 season, bringing a diverse and successful resumé to the fold.
Nelp’s cerebral approach to the game has helped usher in an era of prosperity for the team that has seen the Orange and Black rack up 66 wins in comparison with only 41 losses. He’s been key in the rapid development of the program that has resulted in the school’s first back-to-back 20-win seasons, the 2012-13 Atlantic Sun Regular Season Championship and the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Tournament Championship.
In 2012-13, Nelp cemented Mercer as a bona fide giant killer – directing scouting efforts that led the team to regular season road wins at Florida State and Alabama. The team’s upset-minded tenacity continued into the postseason, as the Bears went to Knoxville and downed Tennessee in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
In 2011-12, Nelp assisted in Mercer’s record-breaking 27-11 season that saw the team string together five wins in March to capture the Atlantic Sun’s first postseason tournament championship. The Bears’ 70-67 win at Utah State in the CIT Final was a product of team chemistry that has been a hallmark of each program Nelp has worked with.
Prior to coming to Macon, Nelp spent the past two seasons (2008-10) as the Basketball Technology Assistant at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. As a member of the Golden Eagles’ staff, he assisted with the day-to-day operations of the hoops office. With an expertise in the technological demands of the college basketball today, Nelp focused his energies on opponent scouting and film exchange.
Prior to taking his talents to Marquette, Nelp served as the video coordinator for the University of Arkansas women’s basketball program, the first person to serve in that position on a full-time basis, in 2007-08. While at UA, he assisted with the day-to-day needs of the Razorback’s opponent scouting.
From 2005-07, the native of the “Hoosier State” was a men’s basketball assistant coach at Indiana Wesleyan University. With Nelp on staff, IWU had one of its best-ever seasons with a 30-5 mark, NAIA Elite Eight appearance and ascending to a ranking as high as No. 3 in the nation during the season. The Wildcats set school records each season for most conference wins and, for his part, Nelp was named as the top NAIA assistant coach by INBNews.com.
Nelp is a 2001 graduate of Colorado State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in history. Nelp had the opportunity to work with CSU coach Buzz Williams, serving as the Rams’ student assistant (1999-2002) and director of basketball operations (2003-04).
Nelp gained international experience, working as the assistant to the general manager of the 08 Stockholm Human Rights Basketball Club for the 2003-04 season.
Nelp’s wife, Angie, was an outstanding player for Colorado State’s women’s basketball team. She currently serves as an Assistant Coach with the Mercer women’s basketball team. The couple have two sons, J.J. and Louis.