BRISTOL, Tenn. – King University Head Men's Wrestling Coach Jason Moorman announced the hiring of Derrick Nelson to complete his staff. Along with the hire, Moorman also promoted assistant coach Travis Mercado to Associate Head Coach.
"Derrick really impressed throughout the interview process," Moorman said. "I feel he is bringing the passion and drive that we need in his position. His philosophy mirrors what our program is about, and that is exciting."
Nelson joins the Tornado staff following a brief stint at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo., where he was the interim head coach. In the first year of the program, Nelson helped Northeastern finish in the top 25 of the national tournament as three Plainsmen qualified for the national tournament. Northeastern finished with one All-American and three academic All-Americans.
"I am extremely excited and blessed to become part of the King University wrestling staff," Nelson said. "As someone who has wrestled in the ECAC it is a dream come true to come back to my home conference, and help continue to build upon the recent success King has had!"
Prior to coaching at Northeastern, Nelson was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Coker College where he helped with the recruitment of student-athletes. While wrestling at Coker, Nelson ranked in the top 10 of NCAA Division II in the 2015-16 season while being selected All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and earning academic All-America honors.
Moorman also promoted Mercado to associate head coach. Mercado has been with the Tornado since December of 2015, helping the women's program to four national titles.
"During the past three years Travis has shown tremendous growth as a coach, especially the latter half of last season," said Moorman. "He is one of the most reliable coaches I have worked with, and that is crucial for the success of our men and women's wrestling program. He is well deserving of this promotion, and we are excited about this upcoming season."