Nelson Hired to Pelphrey's Arkansas Staff

Arkansas coach John Pelphrey hired an old player Thursday to complete his Razorback coaching staff.

FAYETTEVILLE - In an attempt to find a new assistant, Arkansas coach John Pelphrey turned to an old acquaintance.

Pelphrey hired Brett Nelson Thursday, ending a nearly two-month search to fill the vacancy on the Razorback coaching staff. Nelson played for Pelphrey for three years while he was an assistant coach at Florida.

"I am very excited to have Brett join our staff," Pelphrey said in a release through the University of Arkansas media relations department. "Brett has a tremendous basketball IQ and will bring our student-athletes a first-hand perspective of the commitment and dedication that is required to win Southeastern Conference championships and compete nationally.

"I have known Brett throughout his basketball career as a player and a coach. He is an exceptional person and will be an excellent addition to our coaching staff and our program."

Nelson spent the last three seasons on Donnie Jones' staff at Marshall before following Jones to his new job at Central Florida in April.

Before that he had spent a year at each Colorado State and Virginia Commonwealth as director of basketball operations, the latter of which for Anthony Grant, who is now the head coach at Alabama.

Pelphrey, Grant and Jones were all assistants on Billy Donovan's 2000 Florida team that finished as national runner-up.

Nelson replaces Isaac Brown at Arkansas. Brown had spent the last eight years on Pelphrey's staff, including the last three at Arkansas. He was reassigned within the basketball program following the Razorbacks' second consecutive losing season.

Nelson started 77 games and averaged 11 points per game at Florida, helping the Gators to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He is second in school history in 3-pointers made, 3-pointers attempted and steals.

In four career games against Arkansas, Nelson averaged 14 points per game. In his last game at Bud Walton Arena, Nelson scored a team-high 23 points but the No. 5 Gators suffered a 94-92 overtime loss.

Brett Nelson

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