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Donald K. Nelson







Year Inducted


Sport Ambassador


Donald K. Nelson (D)



He was born in Saint John, educated in Montreal, Massachusetts and Ohio, and devoted thirty-five years of his life as a coach and physical educator at the University of New Brunswick. For thirty-two of those years he served as head basketball coach; he also coached the football and wrestling teams, and directed the UNB summer sport camps.In his “spare” time he taught undergraduate courses and served as a basketball administrator and clinician. Honours and tributes have been many; none sweeter than the Atlantic Universities naming their western basketball conference after him.On the occasion of Don’s retirement, UNB president James Downey spoke for everyone when he said:“. . . we value deeply what you’ve done and even more what you’ve been.” Enrolled in the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, June 2, 2001

Quick Facts

  • Head Coach, UNB basketball team 1956-1988 (32 years) 

  • Won NB-PEI Intercollegiate championship in 1957, 1958 & 1960 

  • Won Maritime Intercollegiate championship in 1967 MIAA Coach of the Year, 1967 

  • Conducted clinics for basketball coaches throughout the Atlantic Provinces, 1960-90 

  • Coach of Team NB (basketball) to first Canada Winter Games in 1967 

  • President of Basketball NB 1968 & 69 

  • BNB Service Award for Coaching 1982 

  • UNB named two scholarships in his honour, 1995 

  • Atlantic University Sport named Western Basketball Division the "Don Nelson Division", 1999

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