Billy Nelson, a 2008 Olympian, is in his third year as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Buffalo’s cross country and track & field program.
Nelson, who runs professionally with New Balance as his sponsor, won the 2011 USATF steeplechase crown, earning a spot on the U.S. roster for the IAAF World Championships. He was a decorated distance runner while at CU, earning All-American honors six times. He won three Big 12 titles while at CU, winning the indoor 5,000-meter run in 2006 and the steeplechase in 2007 and ’08. Nelson was a part of the 2008 men’s track and field team that won the first Big 12 outdoor title for CU, the first conference title since 1947.
During Nelson’s final season with the Buffs, he won the steeplechase at the conference and regional meet and capped off his collegiate career with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championship. Nelson went on to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials, capturing a second-place finish in the finals of the steeplechase to earn a spot on the Olympic roster. At the 2008 Olympic Games, Nelson placed 11th in the second prelim.
As a member of the cross country team, he was a four-time All-Big 12 and three-time all-region honoree. Nelson was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2002 and won the 2005 NCAA Mountain Region title, leading CU to its 12th consecutive region title.
Nelson was the 2003 USA Junior Cross Country Champion and Junior 5k champion. He was the top American at the World Junior Cross Country Championships with 26th-place finish.
The Taft, Calif. native graduated from CU in 2008 with a degree in ethnic studies. He ranks second on the all-time performers list in the steeplechase at CU (8:28.85) and has the third and fourth fastest time in school history.
Nelson is married to the former Alisa Crane. They have a daughter, Arabella, and a son, Noah. They reside in Longmont, Colo.