Coaching Staff


Assistant Coach

Nicole Nelson enters her 8th season as an assistant coach at SMU (2019). Nelson was named assistant coach by head coach Chris Petrucelli June 25, 2012. Before coming to SMU, Nelson served as the head coach at the University of Oklahoma from 2008 to 2011.

In year six at SMU (2017), Nelson helped the Mustangs to its second consecutive 10 win season (10-7-3) for the first time since the 2010 and 2011 seasons.  Following back-to-back wins against top-25 opponenets to open the season, the Mustangs reached No. 22 in the United States Soccer Coaches' Poll, the first time being ranked since 2006.  The Mustangs finished the season with three wins against top-25 teams.

During her time at OU (2008-2011), Nelson led the Sooners to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010 as she was named Co-Big 12 Coach of the Year. She coached players to numerous all-conference and all-region honors as well as several academic awards.

In July 2010, Nelson worked with as a U.S. Soccer Region III age group coach. She has been a member of the Olympic Development Program for Region III for the past nine years and served as the head coach of the US soccer region III ‘97 Age Group from July 2010-May 2013. Nelson took the team to events in Costa Rica and on a European Tour in March of 2013, where the team played games in Germany and Switzerland.

Nelson spent two years as an assistant at Texas (2006-07) under Petrucelli, where she served as the recruiting coordinator. She helped coach a Longhorn team that won back-to-back postseason Big 12 Championships in 2006 and 2007, and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 both years. In 2005, Nelson served as the recruiting coordinator and an assistant coach at Baylor.

Prior to her stint at Baylor, Nelson served as the head coach of the Stephen F. Austin women’s soccer team (2002-2004), leading the team to two Southland Conference Championships. In her second year at the helm, Nelson’s Ladyjacks won the conference tournament and made the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2003. In 2004, SFA won the regular season Southland Championship and Nelson was named the conference coach of the year for the second consecutive season. She led 25 student-athletes to All-SLC honors over three seasons and left the Ladyjacks with the most wins in program history. Nelson served as an assistant at SFA during the 2001 season.

Before she started her career in coaching, Nelson played semi-professional soccer for the Austin Lonestars (W-League).

Following that stint, she worked with numerous clubs and camps before taking her first position in the collegiate ranks as a volunteer assistant at her alma mater in 2000-01.

As a player, Nelson started every game and was the team captain in 1995, 1996 and 1997 at Oklahoma City University under Brian Harvey. Nelson was a three-time All-Sooner Athletic Conference member and Academic All-American. She began her collegiate career at Texas A&M University as a freshman and concluded it at OCU as an All-American (honorable mention).

Nelson earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish in 1997 at Oklahoma City University, graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors. She received her master’s degree in kinesiology from Stephen F. Austin in May 2005.

Assistant Coach

Mat Cosgriff enters his 6th season (2019) on the Hilltop after being named as an assistant soccer coach for the SMU’s women’s soccer team in April of 2014.
Working primarily with the goalkeepers, Cosgriff helped lead SMU to a 1.20 goals against average (GAA) (5th ACC) and a .745 save percentage.  Starting goalkeeper, Catie Brown, recorded eight shutouts (1st ACC, 43rd NCAA), while boasting a 1.21 GAA (6th ACC) and a .728 save percentage.  In his fourth year at SMU (2017), Cosgriff helped the Mustangs to its second consecutive 10 win season (10-7-3) for the first time since the 2010 and 2011 seasons.  The Mustangs reached No. 22 in the United States Soccer Coaches' Poll following back-to-back wins against Top 20 opponents to open the 2017 season.  The Mustangs advanced to the American Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal for the fourth time in five seasons. 

In 2014, his first season on the Hilltop, Cosgriff helped guide a young Mustang team to seven wins. Due to injuries to both starting goalkeepers, he was tasked with the challenge of transitioning a field player, Lissi Lonsberry, to goalkeeper. Cosgriff overcame this challenge, as Lonsberry posted a 5-3 record, including two shutouts, in the eight games she started in net. Cosgriff also saw senior goalkeeper Lauryn Bodden post a career-high 11 saves in a game versus USF.

Cosgriff was an assistant coach and goalkeeper coach at Washington State from 2012-14. During his tenure, he helped the development of one Pac-12 Player of the Year and six Pac-12 all-conference selections. In 2013, Washington State was seventh nationally in both goals allowed and goals against average and sixth in the nation in shutouts. The Cougars advanced to the NCAA Tournament in both 2012 and 2013. His athletes excelled both on and off the pitch, as 21 Cougars earned Pac-12 all-academic honors and the teams averaged a 3.23 GPA.

Cosgriff was an assistant at South Carolina from 2003-11, where he worked with goalkeepers and assisted in all aspects of the program. He mentored the careers of three of the top seven goalkeepers for goals against average in Southeastern Conference history.

For three-straight seasons (2009-11), South Carolina had the SEC’s top defensive unit and Cosgriff’s goalkeepers own the top-five goals against averages in Gamecocks’ history. South Carolina participated in the NCAA Championship each of the last-five seasons Cosgriff was on staff. The Gamecocks won the 2009 SEC Tournament title and advanced to the sweet 16, and the 2011 squad won the SEC regular season crown.

Prior to South Carolina, Cosgriff was an assistant coach for the men’s soccer team at Maine, his alma mater, from 2002-03. He graduated (2002) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology.

A native of Lebanon, N.H., Cosgriff played for the Vermont Voltage of the Premier Development League from 2000-01. He also played at Maine for four years, starting at goalkeeper and serving as team captain.