Erica Nelson joined the Athletic Department in August 2017 and serves as the Director of Student-Athlete Development. In this role Nelson oversees the department’s programming that seeks to enhance the personal and career development of the over 450 Razorback student-athletes, as well as their engagement in community initiatives. Additionally, Nelson also serves as the Advisor for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.), Chair of the “HOGSPY Awards” planning committee, administers the student-athlete Drug Testing program, directs the Razorback Leadership Academy and is a member of the department’s Performance Team, and the administration’s Senior Staff.
Prior to joining the Razorback family, Nelson spent seven years at the University of South Carolina, where she led the Life Skills and Community Relations department. As the Director, she was responsible for all aspects of the planning and execution of seminars designed to prepare the student-athletes for life after graduation, as well as assisting with their community service efforts. Similar to her role at Arkansas, Nelson also served as the Advisor to S.A.A.C. and Chaired the “Gamecock Gala” planning committee, amongst many other duties.
Before arriving at South Carolina, Nelson worked in the Player Development department for the National Basketball Association (NBA) in New York City. One of her many responsibilities included the execution of the annual “Rookie Transition Program”, where new players are educated on life in the NBA and the new expectations placed upon them.
Nelson has been recognized nationally by EBONY magazine as one of 30 “Leaders of the Future” and in 2013 she was honored to receive the “South Carolina Civic Engagement Professional Award”. While living in New York City, she also served for seven years on the National Board of Directors for W.I.S.E. (Women in Sports and Events). Additionally, she has been active with the NCAA, where she has twice served as a Facilitator for the “Career in Sports Forum” and chaired the Selection Committee for the “Emerging Leaders Seminar” on two separate occasions.
A graduate of California State University, Dominguez Hills , where she was a member of the women’s basketball team, Nelson then went on to be the Graduate Assistant for the women’s basketball team at Slippery Rock University (PA), where she received her Master’s degree in Sport Management.