Cobra Spotlight- Ali Nelson & David Olliver, Athletic Staff

During the summer of 2014, the Coker sports information office brings you the "Cobra Athletic Staff Spotlight". Each week we highlight different members of the Coker athletics staff, giving you an in depth look at the athletics staff and coaches. This week we take a look at Ali Nelson, Head Spirit Squad Coach and David Olliver, Head Men's Lacrosse Coach.

Name: Ali Nelson

Administration Position (Title):  Head Spirit Squad Coach

Hometown: Spraggs, PA

Why did you choose Coker? I chose Coker because I am an alumni and I love this campus.

What unique ability does your role give you? I get to do what I love everyday

What is the best advice you have ever received?  To always be the best you can be because there is always someone looking up to you.

What is the best thing about working at Coker? The sense of community

What achievement are you most proud of? Being the first in my family to graduate with a four-year degree

What is something people may not know about you?  I am terrified of frogs.

Who is your favorite professional sports team? Pittsburgh Penguins

What is your favorite food?  Mac and Cheese

What kind of music do you listen to?  Mostly everything but my favorite band is Aerosmith

What is the last book you read? Divergent

What was your childhood ambition?  To be a bus driver or a dentist. 

What was your very first job? I told kids when to go down the water slide at a water park, I know exciting.

What is your most prized possession?  My family

Do you have a nickname? If so, how did you get it? Aldoe. Not really sure how I got it but my dad has called me it ever since I can remember.

In your free time you like too… Sleep or save the world.  Whichever comes first.

One word that describes you:   Awesome

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Name: David Olliver

Administration Position (Title): Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach

Hometown: Monroe, NC… But spent much of my time in Charlotte, NC

Why did you choose Coker? Coker chose me, just like I chose Division II! Coker was an opportunity for me to take my first head coach position, after being an asssistant for 5 years at a conference foe.

What unique ability does your role give you? Being a head coach allows me to make an impact on young men’s lives in so many other ways than just being a good lacrosse player or a good team. 90% of what you learn in college happens in the classroom!

What is the best advice you have ever received? There are a couple: A college professor told me that there are three things you need to know in life and you learn them all in kindergarten; 1.) Learn how to tie your shoes. 2.) Learn when it is nap time and take it. 3.) Learn to stay in the lines (reference to coloring, but you can see how it can relate to life).

Last was from a coach. He said to always do the right things even when no one is looking and you will be a better man because of it. 

What is the best thing about working at Coker? I love the coaching community here. People genuinely want to help each other. I came from a small school and there was not the same kind of team work there that there is here between coaches and even assistant coaches. Most importantly, I love my team and they have made my transition into a new program such an easy gap to manage.

What achievement are you most proud of? As a player and part of the Wingate ’08 class we accomplished a lot as a team and those cannot be taken from us. As a head coach, I could not be more proud of the instant turn around and buy-in, in my team. Making the first ever SAC Men’s Lacrosse Tournament was a huge accomplishment. Being undefeated against a certain university is another accomplishment I am proud of and want to continue.

What is something people may not know about you? I love to cook. I did not start playing or know what lacrosse was until Spring 2004. My high school senior year, when friends asked me to come play. I am a sucker for documentaries and nerdy channels (History, Nat Geo, Discovery, Animal Planet, etc.).

Who is your favorite professional sports team? PANTHERS, HORNETS… DUH!

What is your favorite food? My mother’s steak and gravy.

What kind of music do you listen to? I am very eclectic. From Drake to Migo’s to Brett Young to Eric Church to Bob Marley… I think you get the picture.

What is the last book you read? Roy Williams “Hard Work”… working on Jay Bilas “Toughness”

What was your childhood ambition? To be a UNC Chapel Hill basketball star! And then to coach! One out of two isn’t bad!

What was your very first job? Radiator Shop in Monroe, N.C. I drank more anti-freeze that summer, from exploding radiators, than a human should consume in their entire life.

What is your most prized possession? My dog “Timbo”…My Diploma… My Conference Championship Ring… My Phone… My Lacrosse Stick… the order may be shuffled a little.

Do you have a nickname? If so, how did you get it? “DB”.. Brotha Dave, came from college because we had 4 Daves on our team at the time.

In your free time you like too… I am an avid hooper, love to play basketball when I can. Ping Pong is a bit of a weird passion of mine (I keep two paddles in my car just in case a game may break out), and I am still undefeated in Hartsville with my partner, Brian Scheetz in cornhole.  I do not participate in things I am not good at (billiards, tennis).

One word that describes you: FUNN! Yes with 2 N’s, all CAPS, bold and an Exclamation point!

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