Legendary Leaders: Edor Nelson

Edor Nelson

A three-sport student-athlete during his playing days at Augsburg College in the mid-1930s, Edor Nelson was as influential an Auggie as there ever will be. Following his playing career, Nelson spent three years of teaching and coaching in Lamberton, Minn. before joining the United States Army. During World War II, he served as an infantry officer as a member of the 43rd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squad, part of the Third Cavalry in General George Patton's Third Army. Shortly after D-Day, Nelson's group was deployed to France. He was captured by the Germans on October 20, 1944, and spent several months in prisoners of war camps in Germany and Poland before an escape and eventual liberation.

Nelson returned stateside to Minneapolis in 1946 as an instructor in his alma mater's Health and Physical Education department, a post he would hold for the next 32 years. In addition to teaching, Nelson coached Augsburg's baseball team from 1946-79, leading the program to seven MIAC titles during that span. He also spent 12 years at the helm of Auggie football where he led Augsburg to 55 victories from 1947-69. In 1949, Nelson helped launch the Augsburg men's wrestling program and he was integral in the relaunch of men's hockey in 1956. Under his guidance, Augsburg won its first MIAC wrestling championship in 1961. He was inducted into the Augsburg Athletics Hall of Fame in 1975 and the institution renamed its outdoor athletic field in honor of Nelson in 2001. He passed away shortly after his 100th birthday in August of 2014.

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