Central volleyball coach Nelson resigns to take Delta job

Beth Nelson said she loved coaching volleyball at Central High School and enjoyed coaching every girl she encountered there.

So, Tuesday was hard. It hurt when she gathered her players that morning to tell them she wouldn’t be their coach in the fall. After 12 seasons at Central, the past eight as the head coach, she resigned so she could take the volleyball coaching job at Delta High School.

Nelson said she had to put her family first, and as someone who loved growing up in a small town, Idaho Springs, Nelson wants that same experience for her daughters: 5-year-old Lilly and 2-year-old Reese.

Nothing against Grand Junction, she said, but Lilly will start kindergarten in the fall, and Nelson and her husband, Jesse, want the small-town life and smaller schools Delta will provide.

First, however, came Tuesday and informing “some really important people,” including her players, about her decision.

“Central’s been amazing to me,” Nelson said. “It was hard for all of us. That breaks my heart.”

Central bids adieu to a coach who was the Southwestern League coach of the year after guiding the Warriors to the league title in 2009. Nelson said Central was an annual state playoff entrant during her head coaching stint except for last fall, when CHSAA didn’t have district tournaments determining the playoff field.

Delta Athletic Director Gregg Hawkins said he believes the Panthers are getting a coach who will take them to the next level. He listed Nelson’s experience, ability to teach volleyball fundamentals, enthusiasm for the job and promotion of the sport among youth as strengths she brings to Delta.

“We have a feeder program started, and we know she can work with those coaches and take it to another level,” Hawkins said.

Nelson succeeds Renee St. Jean, who stepped down at Delta to devote more time to her small children, Hawkins said.


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