Alma Maters: Anoka High School, University of Minnesota - Duluth
Head Football Coach, Special Teams Coordinator, Tight Ends & Fullbacks
• 16th Year at Minnetonka (98-58)
• 40th Year Overall/34th year as Head Coach (250-108)
• 2016 Record 8-3
Dave Nelson begins his 16th year as head football coach at Minnetonka and 40th season overall. Coach Nelson helped lead the Skippers to the Minnesota 5A State Championship in 2004, Classic Lake Conference Championships in 2004, 2006 and 2009, and the Class 6A State Playoffs in 2012 and 2016. Dave is a graduate of the University of Minnesota- Duluth, where he captained the Bulldogs in football and baseball his senior year. Nelson was inducted into the UMD Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
Prior to joining the Skippers, Nelson led the Blaine Bengals
to 10 conference championships and eight section championships during his 18 years as head football coach. The Bengals won the 1988 State Championship in addition to making it to the Prep Bowl in 1996, 1997 and 2001. Dave was inducted into the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015.
Dave and his wife Maureen have three adult children, Sarah, Ashley and Jesse, and eight grandchildren.
Published October 29, 2015 at 12:14 pm,SUN Sailor
When Dave Nelson was a senior at Anoka High School, his father Stan asked him what he would like to do for a career.
Minnetonka High football coach Dave Nelson and his dad Stan Nelson, the former Anoka High coach, are members of the Minnesota High School Football Coaches’ Hall of Fame. (Sun Sailor staff photo by John Sherman)
Stan thought his son might want to become a doctor, a dentist or a lawyer, but Dave had another path in mind. “I told my dad I wanted to be a teacher and a football coach,” said Dave. “That’s what he was, and he always seemed happy.”
For 26 years, Stan was the head football coach at Anoka High School, and he made that program one of the best in the state. Between 1963 and 1966, the Tornadoes won 33 straight games and won one mythical state championship.
Like father like son, as the old saying goes. In his career as a high school football coach, Dave has won state championships at two schools – Blaine and Minnetonka. Even though Dave is retired from teaching now, he remains Minnetonka’s head coach. One of his assistants is his son Jesse.
There could be a significant milestone for Stan and Dave Nelson next fall. As a head coach for 32 seasons, Stan compiled a 154-70-8 record. Dave is currently sitting at 242-105, and his fourth victory next season would put the father-son tandem at 400 career wins.