Nelson Terroba, Head Coach & General Manager of Basketball Operations
Nelson Terroba is a committed coach and teacher.
In his first year as the head coach of the Riptide, the team finished 21-19 in the regular season with a #3 seed in the NBL Playoffs. They were one game away from the Atlantic Division finals, losing in a memorable 5-game series to the Moncton Magic.
The Riptide were tied for best team defense in the NBL in terms of points allowed (98.9 points per game) despite not having a single member of the team being named to the NBL All-Defensive Team.
Terroba was an assistant coach with the Erie Bayhawks of the NBA G League prior to arriving in Saint John. He was an assistant there under Coach Bill Peterson. The team was part of the Orlando Magic organization. It was his second stint in the D League, also having coached with the Bakersfield Jam, under Coach Will Voigt.
“I have to give credit to Coach Voigt for granting me my first coaching opportunity in the pros. I learned a lot about alignment, strategy and teaching the pro game from Coach Voigt. At Erie, Coach Peterson granted me the role of offensive coordinator, which was great for my development as a coach. And his focus on player development throughout the season is something I will take with me as well,” Terroba said. “Being able to attend and take part in Orlando Magic Training Camp was also a great experience.”
Terroba is a graduate of The University of Texas. Beyond coaching basketball, he is a huge fan of Texas Longhorns Football, and you can expect him to be on the lookout for other Texas Exes in Saint John for football viewing parties.
After graduating from Texas, has was a Special Assistant under Coach Rick Barnes, and directed the Longhorn summer basketball camp, oversaw video exchange, scouted opponents and also helped with producing recruiting materials.
“Being on the staff at Texas was a dream, and I was fortunate to see firsthand at a young age what takes place behind the scenes of a major Division 1 basketball program. I learned the importance of competing daily at a high level and was afforded the opportunity to grow my basketball knowledge exponentially, while also getting a chance to lead through my role with summer camps. Coach Russ Springmann and Coach Rob Lanier were both great mentors — I learned from them the the power of mentorship,” Terroba said.
After his time at Texas, he spent 6 years back at his hometown of Dripping Springs, TX, eventually serving as the head basketball coach at his alma mater.
“Growing up in a tight-knit community was huge for me. I loved my high school experience and our District Champ team from my senior year is a big reason why I decided to go into coaching— I just loved the game and could not get away from it. I am still good friends with many of my high school teammates,” Terroba said. “It is also why I like the community feel of Saint John—it reminds me of the great experiences I had growing up.”
From there, he spent three years at Austin High in Austin, TX as an assistant to one of the best teams in school history, winning two playoff games for the first time in more than 50 years and finishing 29-3 in his final season there.
“My time at Austin High is one of my favorite times in coaching. We had such a great group of diverse kids from so many backgrounds and walks of life playing together at such a high level. It really was a great reminder of the power of teamwork and how basketball can bring so many different types of personalities and backgrounds together in one place, pushing for a shared outcome,” Terroba said.
Terroba also founded the Hoops 101 Basketball camp in 2000 while in college. It is an organization that has hosted several summer camps, skills academies and select teams over the years. Before his time at Erie, he served as Facility and Basketball Director for the Premier Athletic Complex near Austin, where he directed and formed the CenTex Attack Select Basketball program.
“Every stop along the way, I have learned something that has made me better. Hoops 101 and CenTex Attack brought out the best in me, and provided a vehicle through which I applied all the basketball, leadership, business and organizational knowledge into tangible projects and pursuits,” Terroba said. “At the end of the day, I just love being part of a great team. There is nothing like working with like-minded individuals who are working together to achieve excellence.”