Coaches Hall of Fame: Doug Nielsen

Hall of Fame – 1991

Take a look at the unlined, tanned, good looks of this gentleman. Check the physique, the quick smile and ask; has he REALLY coached 23 years and all at the same school? Believe it!! Doug Nielsen has spent his entire coaching career at Harvard High School. His teams have compiled a 159-22-1 recod in that time. They have been District Champs nine times from 1971-1991. They were district runners-up five times (’72, ’74, ’75, ’85, ’90). They captured the State Title in 1984 and were runner-up in 1985. They have finished in the top ten fourteen times.

Coach Nielsen’s boys have had an undefeated season nine times with a streak of four years running from 1983-1986. Impressive also is their 23 consecutive years with a winning dual record. They are the only Class D school to qualify all twelve weights to the State Wrestling Tournament. In Coach Nielsen’s years at Harvard he has qualified 149 wrestlers to the state tournament and of that number 60 have been state medalists, 23 state finalists, nine are State Champs and 14 were runners-up.

Nielsen has also served wrestling in Nebraska by doing the Class D ratings four different seasons, been elected to the NSWCA Board of Directors in 1978 and 1980, and was nominated for National Coach of the Year by the Nebraska Coaches’ Association in 1986. His biggest thrills came at State in 1984 when they won six of seven matches and put six in the finals, and again in 1985 when they needed a pin to finish second as a team and Jeff Stone did just that for the second place trophy.

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