UNIVERSITY PARK — Associate Athletics Director for Strategic Communications Jeff Nelson has announced he will retire from the University, effective July 31, 2019. He worked at Penn State for nearly 26 years.
“It’s been an incredible 25 years with Penn State Athletics and I’m excited about what the next chapter will bring for myself and our family,” Nelson said in a press release. “From the very beginning, I’ve felt that everyone at Penn State tries to do things the right way — with integrity, passionate dedication and attention to detail, to provide the greatest experience possible for our students.”
Nelson was a member of the College Sports Information Directors of American (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Committee for nearly three decades and was the recipient of the 2017 Lester Jordan Award for exemplary service to the committee and promotion of the student-athlete ideal. A sports information director, among many things, is the primary contact between the media and a specific athletic program within the athletic department.
From West Lafayette, Ind., Nelson came to Happy Valley in 1993 after eight years in the sports information office at Holy Cross. While At Penn State, he served as the football program’s primary communications contact for 22 years and in 2015 moved on to become associate athletic director.
“Jeff Nelson has been synonymous with Penn State and Penn State Athletics for 26 years,” said Sandy Barbour, vice president of Intercollegiate Athletics. “For me, Jeff has been a fountain of knowledge and has provided guidance and wisdom in the ‘Penn State Way.’ We will dearly miss the Nelsons and wish them nothing but joy, happiness and success in their next adventure.”
“There are far too many people to thank for the many blessings and opportunities I’ve had during my nearly 34 years in intercollegiate athletics,” Nelson said. “I will forever be appreciative of Kit Klingelhoffer and Susan Williams as a student assistant at IU, Gregg Burke for giving me the chance to join the athletic communications profession at Holy Cross and Budd Thalman for the opportunity to come to the very special place that is Penn State.”
Nelson and his wife, Julia, are the parents of three children, Joel and Hannah, who are Penn State students, and T.J., who attends State College Area High School.