David M. Nelson

David M. Nelson

College Coach
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David M. Nelson

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Description:
David Moir Nelson (April 29, 1920 – November 30, 1991) was an American football player, coach, college athletics administrator, author, and authority on college football playing rules. He served as the head football coach at Hillsdale College (1946–1947), the University of Maine (1949–1950), and the University of Delaware (1951–1965), compiling a career record of 105–48–6. During his 15 years as the head coach at Delaware, he tallied a mark of 84–42–2 and gained fame as the father of the Wing T offensive formation. From 1951 to 1984, he served as Delaware's athletic director. In 1957, Nelson was named to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Football Rules Committee and in 1962 became its Secretary-Editor, a position he held for 29 years until his death, the longest tenure in Rules Committee history. In this role, he edited the official college football rulebook and provided interpretations on how the playing rules were to be applied to game situations. Nelson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1987.

Early years and college

Nelson was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Upon graduation from Northwestern High School in 1938, Nelson enrolled at the University of Michigan. As a 5'7",...
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