Mike Nelson
Mike  Nelson

Fenton, Mo.

Head Coach

Alma Mater:
Truman State (2003)


Cross Country Set For Ninth NCAA Great Lakes Regional

MU will run on Friday, Nov. 9 in Verona, Wis.


Marquette Women Notch Top BIG EAST Finish Since 2008

MU women placed seventh, men eighth


Cross Country Prepared for 2012 BIG EAST Championships

MU XC will run Friday at 10 a.m. CT


Marquette Men Second, Women Fifth at Bradley Classic

BIG EAST meet up next for cross country


Cross Country Ready for Bradley Classic

XC runs Friday at the Bradley Classic


Marquette Athletics Participates in Al's Run 2014

Marquette's coaches and teams supported the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin at Al's Run 2014.


BIG EAST Championship Recap - Marquette

Post-meet from recap from coach Mike Nelson following Marquette's performance in the 2013 BIG EAST Cross Country Championships at the Dannehl National Cross Country Course on Nov. 2, 2013.


Marquette Prepares for Greater Louisville Classic


Marquette XC Kicks Season Into High Gear

With the change of season approaching, and the National Catholic Championships ahead on Sept. 21, Marquette's cross country teams prepare to take their season to the next level. Hear from coach Mike Nelson and seniors Rebecca Pachuta and Spencer Agnew.

Contact Coach Nelson
Phone:(414) 288-5105
Email Coach Nelson

Mike Nelson is entering his 11th season as the head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach in 2017-18.

He has guided the cross country team since his arrival in August 2007 and overseen multiple Marquette record holders on the track, in addition to several top-freshman marks. Five of his student-athletes have also earned All-Great Lakes Region recognition in cross country. Most recently, in 2016, three athletes earned All-BIG EAST honors, including Brittney Feivor and Jennifer Parker on the women's side and Alec Miller on the men's.

Under Nelson's guidance and dedication, Marquette has twice hosted the BIG EAST Conference Championships (2009 & 2013) and will once again in 2017 at the Wayne E. Dannehl National Cross Country Course. Nelson played a lead role in getting the winning bid to host a conference championship, the first since Marquette hosted as a member of Conference-USA in 1996.

Academically, four student-athletes have earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors seven times, while both Peter Bolgert ('12) and Olivia Johnson ('12) earned Academic All-America honors in 2010-11 and 2011-12. The 2010-11 year was the first time athletes at Marquette had earned Academic All-America first team (Bolgert) honors in any sport at Marquette since 1996-97.

On the track, Nelson has coached five individual school-record holders and three relay school records. At the 2017 Big East Indoor Championships, Brittney Feivor broke the 5000m school record (16:26.32). Feivor lowered her own outdoor record for the 5000m to 16:27.03 at the 2017 Drake Relays. Jessica Parker broke both the indoor (2:10.08) and outdoor (2:06.97) school records in the 800m during the 2017 season.  Kayla Spencer set the 1000m (2:50.21) record during the 2014 indoor season. Nelson has also coached school record setting relay squads in the women’s indoor and outdoor 4x800m along with the indoor distance medley. 

In the women's outdoor 5,000 meters, Nelson has coached three school-record holders. Jayne Grebinski ('10) captured the 5,000-meter record in 2008 with a time of 16:45.96. In 2015, that record was broken multiple times. First, by Kellie Greenwood (16:34.11) and then bested seven days later by Brittney Feivor (16:32.93). Feivor would re-set the record once more in 2017 with a time of 16:27.03. Also in 2015, the 4x800-meter relay team of Nicole Ethier, Jennifer Parker, Kirsta McClure and Jessica Parker ran to a blistering mark of 8:46.70 to earn the school's top spot in the event.

Freshmen have flourished under Nelson in recent years with Alec Miller holding top rookie marks in the 800m (1:51.48) and 1000m (2:26.59) indoor events in 2015. Spencer Agnew set the 3000m freshmen record in 2010 running 8:27.09.  On the women's side, Nelson’s athletes have set freshmen records in the indoor 600m (Jennifer Parker 1:35.55), 800m (Alison Parker 2:10.86), 1000m Meghan Carroll 2:50.60), Mile (Molly Hanson 4:48.79) and 5000m (Brittney Feivor 17:06.85).  Alison Parker also notched the top-freshman time in the outdoor 800 (2:10.97) in 2014.    

Nelson has worked with 15 NCAA West Preliminary Round participants. He also helped Jayne Grebinski (2008 and 2009) and Cassie Peller (2008) reach the Mid-East Regional.

LIst of NCAA West Preliminary Round Qualifiers:

Track and Field NCAA Outdoor Regional Participants
Brittney Feivor 2017 10,000 meters Austin, Texas
Jessica Parker 2017 800 meters Austin, Texas
Brittney Feivor 2017 5,000 meters Austin, Texas
Spencer Agnew 2014 1,500 meters Fayetteville, Ark.
Jack Hackett 2013 5,000 meters Austin, Texas
Blake Johnson 2011 10,000 meters Eugene, Ore.
Nick Szczech 2011 10,000 meters Eugene, Ore.
Peter Bolgert 2010 Steeplechase Austin, Texas
Blake Johnson 2010 Steeplechase Austin, Texas
Nick Szcech 2010 5,000 meters Austin, Texas
Jayne Grebinski 2010 Steeplechase Austin, Texas
Olivia Johnson 2010 1,500 meters Austin, Texas
Jayne Grebinski 2009 Steeplechase Louisville, Ky.
Jayne Grebinski 2008 5,000 meters Fayetteville, Ark.
Cassie Peller 2008 1,500 meters Fayetteville, Ark.

The Fenton, Mo., native has also worked with eight USATF Junior National qualifiers and three individuals who earned All-American status at those championships.

Nelson spent two years at Saint Louis University where he was hired as the head cross country coach in 2005, and then founded the track and field program at SLU in the Spring of 2006. The Billikens encountered immediate success in both competition and the classroom, competing in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Before arriving at SLU, Nelson spent two years as a graduate assistant for the Emporia State University cross country and track and field teams. He also worked with ESU's distance runners on the track and field team and served as the recruiting coordinator for the squads. Nelson helped lead the Emporia State men to a second place finish at the 2004 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Cross Country Championships. His student-athletes won the men's 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter runs at the 2005 MIAA Outdoor Championships as ESU finished second in the team standings. Nelson coached women's school-record holders in the distance medley relay, the indoor 1,000 meter and a national qualifier in the 1,500 meter.

A 2003 graduate of Truman State University, Nelson was a four-time All-MIAA performer for the Bulldogs. He competed in the NCAA Division II cross country national championships as a junior and senior, and helped his team to a fourth-place finish in 2001 and a 14th-place finish in 2002 at the national meet. Nelson graduated cum laude from TSU with a degree in exercise science. He earned his master's degree in physical education from Emporia State in 2005.

Nelson has his USA Track & Field Level I and II (endurance) Certification and earned his USTFCCCA Endurance Specialist certification in July 2011.

Nelson is married to the former Cassandra (Cassie) Peller, who graduated from Marquette University with a PhD in Biological Sciences in 2014. She is now a professor in the Life Sciences Department at Marquette University. Cassie is also a former Marquette track & field/cross country student-athlete having competed from the 2004-08. She is on several of the MU track & field top ten lists in the middle distance events and was captain of both the cross country and track & field squads her junior and senior seasons. 

Mike and Cassie reside in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and have three children, Brooke (born in July 2012), Wesley (born in August 2014) and Lori (born in January 2017).

CoSIDA Academic All-Americans 
2012 (M) Peter Bolgert (first team)
(W) Olivia Johnson (second team)
2011 (M) Peter Bolgert (first team)
(W) Olivia Johnson (first team)
2010 (M) Peter Bolgert (second team)
CoSIDA Academic All-District
2012 (M) Peter Bolgert
(W) Olivia Johnson
2011 (M) Peter Bolgert, Brice Cleland, Nick Sczcech
(W) Olivia Johnson
2010 (M) Peter Bolgert
Nelson's Marquette Cross Country Coaching Record
Year Position at MU BIG EAST Cross Country Championships NCAA Great Lakes Regional
2016 Head Coach M: 5/9; W: 5/10 M: 13/30; W: 10/32
2015 Head Coach M: 5/9; W: 6/10 M: 20/30; W: 17/31
2014 Head Coach M: 6/9; W: 5/10 M: 18/30 ; W: 12/32
2013 Head Coach M: 5/9; W: 6/10 M: 17/31 ; W: 14/33
2012 Head Coach M: 8/14, W: 7/15 M: 15/30, W: 16/32
2011 Head Coach M: 7/14, W: 9/16 M: 8/31, W: 17/33
2010 Head Coach M: 8/14, W: 10/16 M: 10/31, W: 16/33
2009 Head Coach M: 7/14, W: 8/16 M: 12/30, W: 11/32
2008 Head Coach M: t-7/14, W: 7/16 M: 16/28, W: 7/34
2007 Head Coach M: 7/14, W: 7/16 M: 8/30, W: 4/30
Head Coach 10 years


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