Head Coach: Rick Nelson


Rick, former offensive line coach at Northern Iowa, was named the head football coach at Ankeny High School in 2015.

Nelson, an Urbandale native,spent most of his career at the collegiate level. The former UNI player was re-hired by the Panthers in 2000 after spending 11 years at Missouri State.

At UNI, Nelson coached an offensive line that helped produce a 1,000-yard rusher in eight consecutive seasons. In all, he has coached 22 Division I-AA all-America offensive linemen.

High School: Urbandale High School, 1979

College: University of Northern Iowa, 1983

Playing Career:  University of Northern Iowa, 1980-83

Coaching Career:  

  • Graduate Assistant Football and Strength Coach at UNI, 1984-85
  • Physical Education teacher at Garden City Community College 1986-88
  • Offensive Coordinator and Strength Coach Garden City Community College 86-88
  • Offensive Line Coach, Missouri State University 89-99
  • Head Football Coach, Woodward HS OK 1999
  • Offensive Line Coach, UNI 2000-2015
  • Head Football Coach, Ankeny High School 2015-Present


  • NCAA I-AA (FCS) playoffs 2014, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001
  • Missouri Valley Conference Champions 2011, 2010, 2008
  • Gateway Conference Champions 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001
  • Coached 22 All-American Offensive Lineman
  • Coached 46 All-Conference Offensive Lineman
  • Coached 12 Offensive Lineman who signed with the National Football League

Assistant Coach: Adam Booth

Teaching and Coaching Experience:

  • Ankeny High School Varsity Football, 2013 - Present
    • Health, PE, Strength and Conditioning at Southview Middle School, 2015 - Present
  • Southeast Polk High School
    • Varsity Football, 2003 - 2013
    • Middle School Health and PE, 2003 - 2015
  • Van Meter Community Schools
  • Dubuque Hempstead High School

Family: Amy (Wife), Carson (Son), Braden (Son). Coach Booth and his family reside in Ankeny.


Assistant Coach: Ryan Behr

Teaching and Coaching Experience:

Ankeny Community School District(Special Education)

  • Varsity Football Coach
  • 8th Boys Track Coach

North Iowa Area Comm. College

  • Defensive Coach

Rockwell Swaledale Schools(Special Education)

  • Head Football Coach

Mason City Community School District(Special Education)

  • Defensive Coach

High School: Newman Catholic Schools(GO KNIGHTS!)

Family: Tracie(Wife), Halie(Daughter), Lexie(Daughter), Rylie(Daughter), Griffin(Son). Coach Behr and his family reside in Grimes, IA.

Assistant Coach: Nick Nelson

Teaching and Coaching Experience:

  • Ankeny High School Football (US and World History)
  • Ankeny High School Head Track Coach
  • Burleson Centennial High School (Burleson TX) (World Geography), 
  • Lawton High School (Lawton OK) (Global Issues)

College: University of Northern Iowa

High School: Cedar Falls High School

Family: Amanda (Wife), McCoy (Son)

Assistant Coach: Tony Johnson

Teaching and Coaching Experience

  • Ankeny Community School District (Specialized Instructional Coach)
  • Parkview Middle School (Special Education)
  • Assistant Varsity Football Coach (Running Backs)
  • Assistant Varsity Track & Field Coach (Jumpers)

College: Iowa State University

High School: New Prague High School (MN)

Family: Erin (Wife)

Assistant Coach: Aaron Baugher

School and Athletic Experience

  • Graduated from Ankeny (1991)
  • Graduated from Minnesota State University (Mankato) (1996)

  • U.S. Army Combatives (1998-2008)

Occupation (Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army & Iowa National Guard)

  • 5 years Active Duty US Army
  • 13 years Active Full-time Iowa National Guard

Football Coaching Experience

  • 2 years Mason City 2000-2001
  • 5 years coaching junior football and travel teams 2006-2011
  • 3 years coaching AHS Varsity Football (LBs)


  • Married to Jenifer Baugher (1993 to present)
  • Daughter: Brienna
    • Graduated AHS 2015 going to Univ of Iowa
  • Son: Colby
    • Sophmore at AHS plays Football and Rugby for Hawks

Assistant Coach: Brady Walz

Assistant Coach: Mike Mertz

Teaching and Coaching Experience:

  • Ankeny Southview Middle School, 2015-Present
    • Business and Technology Education
    • Assistant Varsity Football, Defensive Backs
    • Assistant 9th Grade Track and Field Coach
  • Dallas Center Grimes Community School District, 2013-2015
    • Business Education, 9th-12th grade
    • 9th Grade Assistant Football Coach
  • Johnston High School, 2012
    • Assistant Varsity Football Coach
  • Missouri Valley College, 2009 
    • Graduate Assistant Football Coach
  • Wartburg College, 2008-2009


  • Drake University, MA Education, 2012
  • Wartburg College, BA Business Marketing, 2009

High School: Johnston High School, 2005

Family: Mike, Kara (Wife) and Jillian (Daughter) reside in Ankeny.