Ilitch School alumnus Josh Nelson takes his hard work from baseball diamond to CBS Sports

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story originally appeared on the Wayne State Athletics website

Josh Nelson, who was a pitcher on the Wayne State University baseball team from 2016-20, excelled in his studies at the Mike Ilitch School of Business where he completed his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Marketing in May of 2020.

Nelson was on the move during his time at Wayne State.  In 2019, he was honored by the Mike Ilitch School of Business 25 Under 25 program, where students are recognized for their achievements in and out of the classroom.

This wasn't his only accomplishment in 2019.  He also was recognized in the Forbes 30 Under 30 event.  This event recognizes 30 entrepreneurs in 30 different categories. Nelson was lucky enough to be awarded and attend the exclusive event while receiving recognition for his accomplishments as a scholar.

Nelson mentioned how much he enjoyed being a student at Wayne State. The fact that the University was so close to home (Ann Arbor) was a plus for him.

"What I can reflect on from Wayne State is how much I loved being in the classroom and the city of Detroit.  It felt great being a part of the Mike Ilitch School of Business and being able to look out the window to see Little Caesars Arena," Nelson stated.  "Not only did it help me realize there was so much opportunity, but it also served as motivation for me while I was in class."

Let's talk about Nelson's accomplishments on the baseball field.

As a right-handed pitcher for the Warriors, he appeared in 12 games during his freshman year, making one start.  He posted a 2.88 earned run average (ERA) and went 3-0 during his rookie campaign.  Additionally, Nelson struck out 30 batters in 25 innings, which equates to 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

Nelson concluded his career with a 12-5 record in 39 appearances with 98 strikeouts in 116 innings.  A memorable moment for Nelson was pitching five scoreless innings against Quincy in the 2017 NCAA Regional Tournament semifinal.

He received GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team accolades each of the three seasons he was eligible (freshmen do not qualify).  Nelson earned a spot on the Academic Honor Roll all nine semesters at WSU, including Warrior Elite recognition (term GPA 3.5+) his final eight semesters.

Nelson was the active career leader in complete games (3), before his departure from the team, where he went on to the next step in his career.

After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Nelson was in a tough position due to the global pandemic. He decided to continue his journey as a student-athlete at Wayne State by working towards a Master of Information Management and User Experience degree.  His tough decision was due to the fact that the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to 2020 spring sport student-athletes.

This opportunity took a turn when he started receiving job opportunities that he simply could not pass up.  After careful consideration, he decided to put his master's degree on hold.

Fast-forward to January 2021, Nelson is now working for CBS Sports as a product designer where he designs apps and websites.  CBS Sports owns 24/7 Sports, a well-known national recruiting website for college basketball and football.  Primarily, Nelson will be designing their website and work closely with the team to re-design current aspects and release new features for the company.

Nelson's experience at Wayne State University was an unforgettable part of his life.

"The best part about my time with Wayne State Athletics was the community of athletes, along with the events that the athletic department put on.  The resources they provided are top notch and I am really glad I was given the opportunity to use them," he stated. 

WSU head baseball coach Ryan Kelley commented "We are extremely proud of Josh Nelson as he propels into his career ambitions.  We are thankful for the student-athlete dedication Josh performed across his NCAA tenure with Wayne State University.  He performed in key games on the pitching mound for us, but also demonstrated a sincere academic commitment.  Beyond the efforts associated with his student-athlete expectations, I applaud his passion and vision to strive for future goals.  Josh's discipline and career aspirations were evidenced thru his professional development research, internship experiences, and associated entrepreneurial preparedness.  We look forward to witnessing and supporting Josh Nelson's future!"

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