Arizona State women's basketball assistant Angie Nelp named head coach at Tulsa

Michelle Gardner
Arizona Republic

Angie Nelp is returning to her home state.

Nelp, an assistant under Charli Turner Thorne at Arizona State the last four years, has accepted the head coaching position at Tulsa. The move was announced on Monday with her formal introduction coming Tuesday. She is the 11th head coach in Tulsa women's basketball history.

Nelp (formerly Angie Gorton) returns to her native Oklahoma, where she finished her senior season as the 1998 Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year at Canadian High School. She is a native of Eufaula, leading Canadian to the 1998 Oklahoma State Championship while earning state tournament MVP honors. 

Arizona State Sun Devils assistant coach Angie Nelp helps the team warm up before a women's basketball game against Sacramento State Hornets at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe on November 18, 2017.

"I am extremely humbled and excited to be the next head coach of the women's basketball team at The University of Tulsa," Nelp said, in the school's press release. "I want to thank Interim President Janet Levit, Rick Dickson and Crista Troester for entrusting me with the growth and development of this program and the student-athletes who make it so special.  

She spent 13 seasons in Division I college basketball and has helped teams reach postseason competition eight times. She has coached 33 all-conference players, eight conference players of the year, three conference freshman of the year honorees, 43 academic all-conference selections and 18 professional players.

"Our team will represent the values of this great university and its commitment to excellence.  We will be a team that plays for each other, gives our best effort in all we do, and competes for championships.  My family and I are looking forward to being part of the TU family."

Nelp was on the ASU staff for three years and elevated to associate head coach a year ago.  During her tenure, the Sun Devils posted a .617 winning percentage with an overall 76-47 record and advanced to the postseason three times. ASU played in the NCAA Tournament twice, moving to the Sweet 16 in the 2018-19 season.

During her time in Tempe, the program had the nation's No. 6-ranked recruiting class in 2020 with four players ranked among ESPN's top 30 by position. She also recruited and signed the 2018 U-18 European Championship MVP.

"I'm thrilled to welcome Angie, Jake and family to The University of Tulsa. It's an exciting day for our university, athletics department and women's basketball program," said Dickson. "Angie brings the enthusiasm and tenacity that we were looking for in our new coach. She has a passion to see that her student-athletes succeed not only on the court but in all phases of life.

"Everyone we talked to about her raved about Angie's energy, leadership, work ethic, basketball knowledge, her ability to connect with people and be a stellar role model for young women. We're excited that she's now a part of our TU family."

Before joining the Sun Devils staff, Nelp worked at Rice where she helped guide the Owls to the WBI Championship, the school's first postseason title, and 22 victories in 2016-17, the second-most wins in a single season. The Owls improved by 13 wins from her first to second season, one of the top increments in the nation. 

Her stop before that was at Mercer where she spent four seasons as an assistant coach, responsible for coaching the guards, as well as scout and film preparation. She coordinated Mercer's recruiting efforts that saw the Bears sign two ESPN top 70 players along with two Georgia state players of the year.

Before her stint at Mercer, Nelp served as assistant director of basketball operations at Marquette University. She also spent one season as a graduate assistant coach on the Arkansas women's basketball staff under then head coach Tom Collen.

She played collegiately at Colorado State, accumulating 1,397 points, 629 rebounds, 356 assists and 261 steals in four seasons, and leading the Rams to three NCAA Tournament appearances. She earned Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors, was a first-team All-MWC selection, a Kodak All-America Honorable Mention honoree and was named an academic all-conference performer all four seasons. 

She was inducted into the Colorado State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.

After graduating from Colorado State in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in health and exercise science, she went on to spend two seasons with the NWBL Colorado Chill and one season with 08 Stockholm in Sweden. As a professional, she helped lead the Chill to the 2005 NWBL title and 08 Stockholm to the 2003 Swedish national crown.

Following her professional career, Nelp returned to the United States to serve as the head girls' basketball coach at Yorktown High in Yorktown, Ind.

Nelp and her husband Jake have four children: J.J., Louis, Ellie Kaye and Harrison.

Reach the reporter at Michelle.Gardner@gannett.com or 602 444-4783.  Follow her on Twitter @MGardnerSports.

Subscribe to azcentral.com today.