Suffolk Athletic Director Jim Nelson receives NCAA Division III award


Suffolk University’s Jim Nelson was awarded for his work as the school’s athletic director this past June, winning the 2012 NCAA Division-III AD of the Year for the Northeast Region.

“I was thrilled,” Nelson said. “I consider it to be an award that recognizes our student-athletes and our coaches as well. Without them, the recognition would not have gotten as far as it did.”

Nelson received the award at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics 47th annual convention down in Dallas, Texas where he was not only recognized but able to partake in some interesting seminars and chat with others who hold the same title as himself.

“There were athletic directors from Division-I and Division-II schools at the conference. I had the opportunity to share in not just the honors ceremony but various seminars; and share ideas with these award winners as well as promote the name of Suffolk,” Nelson commented.

The longtime Suffolk men’s basketball coach explained that he especially enjoyed the seminars where the well-being of student-athletes was heavily discussed. “It was about more than health and safety. It was about integrating them into the university. I value excellence in competition but equally important is having a well-rounded amount of extracurricular activities,” said Nelson.

While he was honored to receive the award and enjoyed the conference in Dallas, Nelson explained the trophy cannot beat out certain others he has received over the years, saying:

“It may appear of greater significance to those on the outside, but I’ve been recognized internally here as well. Those awards will continue to be of high value to me.”

Nelson has been a part of Suffolk’s athletic department since becoming assistant basketball and athletic director back in 1966, racking up a considerable number of awards over his 40+ – year career. Suffolk’s acting athletic director since 1975, Nelson was part of Suffolk’s inaugural athletic Hall of Fame induction back in 2007 recognizing his time both in his current role and as men’s basketball head coach from 1976-1995.

As the fall athletic season continues to progress though, Nelson has his eyes on the future of the department going forward.

“This [past] afternoon I had a meeting with student organizations and the alumni association about Suffolk spirit… with new President McCarthy on board for his first full academic year. He, I, and others have [also] spoken about enhancing the facilities,” Nelson explained.

The improvement of those facilities will not include a rumored move to the New Balance facility in Brighton that is currently under construction, however.

“The discussions with New Balance are primarily for ice hockey rink rentals. New Balance is still going forward with the project but there was a misinterpretation that we were moving our facilities there and that’s not the case. I’ve gotten a few calls on that,” chuckled the athletic director.

As these efforts to improve the facilities continue to be ongoing however, Nelson encouraged all members of the Suffolk community to attend at least one contest this year, saying “I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised.”