Former Rebel All-American Joins Coaching Staff
July 5, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – Former Louisville Slugger First Team All-American and Rebel standout Eric Nielsen has joined the UNLV baseball coaching staff announced head coach Tim Chambers.
Nielsen joins the staff as a volunteer assistant after serving as a color analyst on the Rebels’ radio broadcast over the past two seasons.
“I’m extremely excited and appreciative to join the UNLV baseball coaching staff,” said Nielsen. “Baseball is a passionate game and I am eager to be back in a capacity to help the team reach its goals and establish a national reputation as a contender in the years to come.”
The former 12th-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays produced one of the greatest careers in UNLV baseball history. One of just 10 players named to the Mountain West’s 10th Anniversary Team, Nielsen started 171 of 180 games played and ranks second in career batting average with a .376 clip in 673 total at bats.
“We are really looking forward to having Eric on board,” said Chambers. “He bring a wealth of knowledge and experience and has a passion for the game that you can’t coach up. The guys coming into the program might have been a little young when he played, but all they have to do is look in our own record books to see that Eric played the game the right way and was really successful doing so.”
Nielsen capped a tremendous career in Rebel Red by batting a team-high .402 his senior season, starting all 61 games played. The Las Vegas native led the Rebels in nearly every offensive category, producing 101 hits and also pounding out 16 home runs while totaling 87 RBI en route to being named a Louisville Slugger First Team All-American.
Nielsen won the prestigious Triple Crown and garnered Mountain West Player of the Year honors. Nielsen spent five years in the Blue Jay organization, working his way up to the Syracuse Chiefs, Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate. In 2007 Nielsen captured the Florida State League batting crown as a member of the Dunedin Blue Jays (Double-A), hitting .325 in 117 games (147-for-453) with 41 doubles and seven home runs while driving in 67 RBI.