GoPack.com takes you behind the scenes during the Pack's spring practice
GoPack.com sits down with Pack's defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator
Former All-Pac 10 player will coach defensive line and serve as recruiting coordinator
Get to know defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen from the perspective of those who know him best: his players.
Photos from the first day of spring practice
PLAYING EXPERIENCE: College - Played defensive lineman at Southern California where he was an All-Pac 10 Conference selection as a sophomore. Recorded a career-best 39 tackles in 1999. Current NC State head coach Dave Doeren was a grad assistant at USC when Nielsen was a player; Professional - Signed as an undrafted free agent with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, then played one season of Arena Football with the Los Angeles Avengers.
EDUCATION: Earned a B.A. from Southern California in 2002.
PERSONAL DATA: Born in Los Angeles on March 20, 1979.
BOWL EXPERIENCE: As a coach - 2013 Orange Bowl, 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl; As a player - 1998 Sun Bowl, 2001 Las Vegas Bowl.
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 2012 Northern Illinois, 2011 Northern Illinois, 2009 Central Connecticut State.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: As a coach - In both of his seasons at Northern Illinois, the Huskies won the MAC Championship. Helped team to the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl and the 2013 Orange Bowl. A pair of defensive lineman from Northern Illinois were first-team All-MAC selections in 2012, Sean Progar and Alan Baxter, while Nabal Jefferson was a National Scholar-Athlete and finalist for 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy. In 2011, coached Progar and Ron Newcomb to All-MAC honors. In his one season at UT-Martin, defensive end Tim Cox earned All-Ohio Valley Conference honors in 2010. In two seasons at Central Conn. State, he coached a pair of all-conference honorees in 2008 league sack leader Ray Saunders and 2009 Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year, Lawton Arnold. Began coaching career coaching defensive line at Mississippi (2005-07). His pupils included future NFL player Jayme Mitchell, freshman All-American Marcus Tillman, 2007 SEC sack leader Greg Hardy, and 2009 NFL first round pick Peria Jerry.
Ryan Nielsen's Coaching Career