Nels Rydberg will enter his third season as an assistant volleyball coach. He joined the UTEP volleyball coaching staff on February 1, 2014.
Rydberg came to UTEP with an impressive resume of over 21 years coaching volleyball at the collegiate, club and high school levels. During his career, he has coached 13 All-Conference players and two All-Americans (Division II).
In his first season as an assistant for the Miners, Rydberg helped UTEP to show significant improvement at the outside hitter position.
With the guidance of Rydberg, the Miners produced 1,166 kills (11.00 per set).
Rydberg coached true freshman Coline Coessens to the Conference USA All-Freshman team. Coessens showed strong potential early in the 2014 season earning her a starting position for the team. The all-around player led the squad in several categories of the game and became a vital asset to the program.
In 2014, the outside hitter saw action in 95 sets and started in 26 matches. Coessens saw action in all six positions and led UTEP in kills (279), points (325) and ranked second serving aces (19). The freshman tallied nine double-double performances and registered two matches with 20 or more kills. Coessens registered 13 matches where she led the Miners in kills.
As a sophomore in 2015, Coessens played in 21 matches but missed 11 due to a non-injury medical issue. However, she finished second on the team in kills (241) and fourth in digs (205). Coessens collected nine double-double performances on the season, including a season-best 22 kills and 10 digs versus Southeast Missouri St. (9/18/15). She also added 50 blocks (5s/45a) and six service aces.
Rydberg also coached outside hitter, Talia Jones, to lead the team in serving aces (21). Jones recorded 216 kills and 246.5 points. The junior hammered a career-best 21 kills and 22 points in the victory against FIU (11/7). The outside hitter delivered another career-best 10 digs versus TCU (9/29) and chipped in nine showings with 10 or more kills.
In 2015, as a senior, Jones paced the Miners offense with 329 kills and 353.0 points. She put down 10 or more kills in 16 matches on the season, including a career-high 24 kills at a .347 clip in a victory over Brown (9/11/15). Jones also notched a career-best six blocks in a match-up with Belmont (9/4/15). Her other 2015 season totals included 66 digs, 37 blocks, six assists and five service aces.
Rydberg also coached Dalainee Perry, who saw great improvement as a sophomore at the outside hitter position. Perry finished second on the team in service aces (12) and third in kills (214), while adding 144 digs, 21 blocks and 13 assists on the 2015 season.
Prior to UTEP, Rydberg served as an assistant coach at the University of Portland (2013). During his time with the Pilots, Rydberg assisted in all areas of the program including: recruiting, camp administration, travel arrangement, budget preparation, scouting, statistical evaluation, video analysis, skill development and practice planning.
While at Portland, Rydberg mentored All-Freshman West Coast Conference Team honoree Makayla Lindburg and All-West Coast Conference honorable mention Autumn Wedan. Lindburg ranked second on the team in kills (246). Outside hitter Wedan led the league in kills with 438 and ranked 16th in the nation in kills per set (4.47). The senior also compiled 252 digs last season.
Prior to Portland, Rydberg served as an assistant coach at UNLV (2010-2012). During his time with the Rebels, Rydberg coached three All-Mountain West Conference performers and two All-Mountain West Conference Tournament performers.
Rydberg also served as an assistant coach at Wright State (2007-09), Arkansas State (2000-02), Oregon (1995-99), Portland State (1994-95) and Cal Poly (1991-94).
Rydberg’s experience also includes coaching positions with several volleyball clubs including the SLO Juniors Volleyball Club, where has was the head coach for three years after one year as an assistant. He was also involved with the Storm N West Volleyball Club, Southside Volleyball Club, Athletes in Action men’s touring team and Webfoot Juniors Volleyball Club.
Rydberg received his degree in Kinesiology from Cal Poly in 1993 and his master’s degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in motor behavior from UNLV in 2011, where he also functioned as a research assistant and instructor.
Along with his coaching experience, Rydberg has also contributed to the sport in writing. He is the author of two publications: Basic Motor Learning Principles for Coaching Volleyball, and Enhancing Volleyball Skills using Practice Variables.
Most recently, Rydberg presented research entitled Mindset: Recent Motor Behavior Research Applied to Volleyball, at the 2013 Annual Convention of the American Volleyball Coaches Associations (AVCA) in Seattle, Washington.
Rydberg and his wife Julie have been married since 1999 and live in West El Paso.
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