The culture of lacrosse here at Salisbury University is one of great tradition. Those who graduate from Salisbury tend to find themselves immersed in the culture of the college years later. This was especially true in the case of women’s lacrosse coach Jim Nestor.
Nestor graduated from Salisbury University (Salisbury State University at the time) with a degree in physical education in 1990. A four-year letter winner for both the men’s lacrosse and wrestling teams, Nestor became quickly acclimated to the academic and athletic sides of the institution.
Before he returned to Salisbury to become the women’s lacrosse coach, Nestor held the same position at Division II Gannon University. There, he led the team to three conference championships, winning 78 percent of his games.
Despite his success at Gannon, coach Nestor was eager to come back and coach at his alma mater.
“For our family, we have a lot of ties here, and we’re so proud to be a part of this Salisbury tradition,” Nestor said. “We’re just really looking forward to the future.”
His wife, Linda Nestor, was also a letter winner at Salisbury. She played four seasons as a member of the women’s lacrosse team.
Amazingly, the ties don’t stop there for the Nestor family. Luke, one of Coach Nestor’s twin seniors at James M. Bennett High School, has committed to play lacrosse for Coach Berkman at SU next season.
“We’re really excited about him coming here; he’s got a lot of learning to do, but he knows [Berkman] well and he’s had the opportunity to come over and see some practices,” Nestor said. “But he’s really looking forward to it and we are as well.”
Nestor knows his son will be in good hands in Salisbury and is anticipating seeing him play under Coach Berkman just as he did 30 years ago.
His other son, Cole, will head off to play lacrosse for Steve Koudelka at the University of Lynchburg.
Considering the amount of success Nestor has attained throughout his playing career and coaching tenure, it should not come as a surprise that his two sons are going on to compete at the next level.
When asked about what it is about Salisbury lacrosse that makes it play such a significant role in him and his family’s lives, he pointed out the tradition and national reputation the university has not only for lacrosse but for academics as well.
“Well first off, it’s a terrific institution. It’s really come a long way both academically and athletically since the days that my wife and I were here as players,” said Nestor.
“This place just has a strong reputation around the nation,” Nestor said. “And I think because of that, a lot of people just really want to be here.”
When Nestor returned to Salisbury University as a coach in 2002, he established a culture of winning. With three national championships under his belt, he knows what it takes for this program to compete at the highest level.
“At the end of the day, we’ve just got great student athletes,” Nestor said. “They’re hard workers and they get the job done in the classroom and on the playing field.”
This year’s team is loaded with talent top to bottom, and their ultimate goal is to capture the program’s first national championship since the 2014 season.
By TOMMY WEST
Featured photo: Coach Nestor talks with the women’s lacrosse team on March 9 against Washington College (Emma Reider image).