Vol 2: Hillary Bach Nelson ’08
Life In The Fast Lane.
Catching Up with Hillary Bach Nelson ’08.
Do you ever wonder what it feels like to live life in the fast lane? Step into the life of Hillary Bach Nelson ’08, and you’ll get a front-row seat. From her record-setting days as a Dutch athlete to the most competitive levels of Division I and professional fastpitch softball to a career in the fast-paced world of collegiate athletics, Hillary takes it all in stride with perseverance and a penchant for teamwork she mastered at Holland Hall.Hillary hit the ground running into the softball scene at the young age of 7. Her dad encouraged her by offering to coach her first softball team, the Tulsa Twisters, in 1997. Little did everyone know at the time, Hillary’s athletic journey was just gearing up. She came to Holland Hall her freshman year and proceeded to be a driving force in athletics, dominating in three sports, collecting every accolade available, including Most Valuable Player, 1st Team All-Conference honors, and eventually induction into the Dutch Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.From Holland Hall, she barreled on to the pitcher’s mound at Arizona State University (ASU), where she would lead the Sun Devils to a Pac-12 Championship and an NCAA Championship. And finally, she took the world by storm during professional softball stints in the United States and Japan.Although that journey lasted well over a decade from start to finish, looking back, it went fast! Fast like her 70+ mph fastball. Fast like the undergraduate degree in Business Marketing that took her only three years to obtain and the MBA she earned immediately following. And fast like the whirlwind of traveling to receive PAC-12 Woman of the Year honors and being named a top-9 finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year.A woman of Hillary’s talent and ambition does not slow down – she craves more. After college and professional softball, she was on the fast track to building a career focused on providing student-athletes collegiate experiences filled with world-class educational opportunities, a welcoming community, lifelong friendships, and real-world knowledge. Experiences reminiscent of her own time at Holland Hall.After working for the PAC-12 Conference as an Administrative Fellow and serving for two years at the Positive Coaching Alliance, Hillary circled back to ASU. She is currently a Special Projects Coordinator at the Sun Devil Club, a member-driven organization dedicated to providing resources that afford ASU student-athletes the opportunity to thrive and grow. Hillary serves on the development team where she oversees construction projects related to athletics and stewards donors to support the student-athlete experience – a job requiring skills she acquired at Holland Hall.Hillary said, “My experiences as a student-athlete have helped me tremendously in my life after sports. I learned how to compete, and persevere when things are not going like I had hoped they would. I was taught to set big goals and chase after them. I grew up working with teammates, and now in my daily work I have a strong appreciation for the benefits that come with accomplishing team projects I could never do by myself.” She credits the Upper School modular schedule for teaching her how to be organized, plan, and prioritize, while her participation in athletics instilled leadership, passion, composure, communication, and teamwork.With the finish line nowhere in sight, Hillary continues full speed ahead with new projects around every corner, embracing each opportunity to pay forward to other student-athletes the experiences she’s had along the way.