CHARLESTON -- Kevin Nelson, a partner with Huddleston Bolen LLP and girls' soccer coach at Charleston Catholic High School, has been named 2008 Mideast Sectional coach of the year by the National Federation of High School Coaches Association.
The Mideast section includes Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
In his fourth year as head coach, Nelson led the top ranked Fighting Irish (19-4-2) to the Class AA-A state championship this past season. During the regular season, his team faced tough competition from significantly larger schools, including Nitro, Parkersburg South, and University High, which all were Class AAA semi-finalists in West Virginia. The team also tackled a Circleville, Ohio team that finished in the final eight of the post-season tournament.
"Ten years ago, I never would have imagined I would have the opportunity to coach high school soccer while practicing law with a prestigious law firm," Nelson said. "Few metropolitan areas in the country would allow the possibility of working two jobs, and fewer still are the number of law firms that would sanction it. Only with the enthusiastic support of my fellow partners, attorneys, and staff at Huddleston Bolen am I able to pursue a fulfilling legal career along with my passion for coaching," Nelson added. "I am grateful to the firm, our clients, and the West Virginia judges who have taken an active interest in my team and have supported and encouraged my efforts."
Heading the Labor and Employment practice group in the firm's Charleston, West Virginia office, Nelson serves as an inspiration to his firm and community. Balancing his busy legal practice with the leadership of a successful high school soccer team exemplifies Nelson's commitment to both interests and demonstrates why he was selected Coach of the Year.
"Huddleston Bolen has always encouraged its partners to pursue their interests outside the firm. Kevin has made outstanding contributions to the firm and its growth, while sharing his talent and interest in soccer with the youth of our community," said Tom Gilpin, chair of Huddleston's management committee. "The support and interest shown by his peers and clients demonstrates the positive impact Kevin has made on the firm and its culture," Gilpin added.
In addition to their on-field success, Nelson proudly notes that the Fighting Irish have received the Academic Team Award from the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America for the past two seasons. He shares credit for his coaching honor with Charleston Catholic's legacy of strong soccer programs, dedicated student-athletes, a committed school administration and staff, and supportive parents.
"Some say that only great players can make good coaches," Nelson said. "That certainly is true in my case. Our team consistently has benefited from the presence of skilled and hard working young ladies who have sought to take advantage of Charleston Catholic's excellent and exacting academic requirements, while pursuing their competitive interests and exercising their considerable athletic talents. The support structure established by the school, including its administration and athletic department, our team's parents and trainers, and especially my indispensible coaching 'partner' Mary Agnes Kern, all contribute immeasurably to our team's success," he emphasized.
Nelson received his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in history from Wake Forest University, where he served on the Student Judicial Board, was Sports Editor of the school newspaper, The Old Gold and Black, and was a member of the Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa honorary societies. Nelson also worked as a sportswriter for The Winston-Salem Journal. He received his Juris Doctorate from Washington and Lee University, where he was a member of the Law Review, President of his second year class, a student advocate in honors trials, and Sports Editor of the law school newspaper, The Law News.
Nelson and his wife, Cindy, live in Charleston with their son, Ethan. Their daughter Kelsey attends Middlebury College in Vermont. In addition to his legal work and coaching duties, Nelson plays soccer and was a member of a West Virginia team that participated in the Veterans' Cup, a national tournament for players over 40. He also is the Vice-President of the Kanawha-Charleston Soccer Foundation, an organization dedicated to building soccer fields for recreational use in the Kanawha Valley, and serves on the State Secondary Schools' Activities Commission's Soccer Committee.
Huddleston Bolen LLP is a law firm with more than 50 attorneys practicing in offices located in Huntington and Charleston in West Virginia and Ashland and Louisville in Kentucky. The firm, founded in 1871, represents clients in many practice groups, including litigation, labor and employment, transportation, appellate, natural resources, health care, real estate, and banking and finance.
For more information about Huddleston Bolen, visit the firm's Web site at www.huddlestonbolen.com.