Dan Nessler enters his second season as the Head Softball Coach in 2017-18. During Nessler's first season, the Vikings more than doubled their win total from the previous season. Additionally, the Vikings made it to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament for the first time since the 2013 season.
Nessler comes to the Vikings with a heralded resume as a fastpitch player and coach over the past 30-plus years. Most recently, in the fall of 2017, Nessler was inducted into the Minnesota State-Mankato hall of fame. In 2016, Nessler was inducted into the 2016 Minnesota Softball hall of fame. He was also a 2009 inductee in the International Softball Congress (ISC) hall of fame. Nessler has played on three ISC World Championship teams with Penn Corp., while being named to the All-World Tournament team four times. Nessler also played in four United States Olympic Festivals. Locally, the St. James, Minn., native was a mainstay with Happy Chef fastpitch softball teams for 14 years in the 1980s and 90s.
Nessler has led both Mankato Peppers and Mints girls teams for many seasons. His 2013 and 2015 ASA 18U Boys teams won the national championships, and he’s has been an assistant coach for the 2015 and ’16 ASA/USA men’s 19U softball teams that have played internationally.
“I am extremely excited to be appointed the Bethany softball coach, and I am convinced with the rich talent pool in the Mankato area and southern Minnesota that we can be successful not only in the UMAC, but also on a regional level in the coming years,” Nessler said. “I'm excited to visit with the current players and begin recruiting the newest Bethany Vikings on our way to renewing BLC softball as a respected, determined, talented and well-coached opponent that plays the game the right way every time we step on the field.”
“Dan Nessler’s name has been associated with an exceptionally high quality of softball for many years on both a local and national level. He brings not only a vast knowledge of softball to our program, but his passion for the game is even more engaging,” said Don Westphal, Bethany’s Director of Athletics. “With his coaching track record and his recruiting connections, I have no doubt that our Viking softball teams will soon be vying for UMAC championships and NCAA post-season berths.”