California Baptist University women’s basketball Head Coach Jarrod R. Olson has coached basketball for the past 15 years, starting in 1998.
Olson also coached tennis lessons for two years during his own college career when he attended Doane College and studied English.
This is Olson’s first year coaching women’s basketball at CBU. He moved to Riverside from Florida where he coached at Florida Southern College and Creighton University. Both of his former schools are a part of the National Collegiate Athletic Associ-ation Division II.
In his time as a coach, Olson has received several awards including Coach of the Year three times. He claimed this title in 2011 and 2012 while at Florida Southern College.
He also won Coach of the Year in 2005, while coaching in the Women’s National Basketball League in Dunedin, New Zealand.
“I am really excited to be working at CBU,” Olson said. “It’s a really cool place, and it’s the first time I ever worked at a school with such a strong Christian influence. It’s a really great opportunity.”
Olson said that his CBU experience has been pretty awesome so far.
“Just moving from one side of the country to the other was a difficult transition,” he said. “People are really nice here, and the students support each other.”
The most exhausting part of coaching, according to Olson, is that people just do not realize how long the season really goes.
Athletes start working out before school starts, and the season does not end until March.
“You don’t get the normal breaks everyone else gets. It’s difficult to really ask for students to sacrifice so much,” he said.
Olson said he enjoys the experience of coaching. He has always been on a team and played a lot as a child.
“Having it like a job is a great experience,” he said. “There are 12 players on the team. Nine of them are seniors, so they all played with a different coach. It’s all about adapting to the whole learning process.”
CBU defeated Grand Canyon University 55-53 a few weeks ago, a major highlight of this season.
The team has also defeated Azusa Pacific University, which is the first time both the men and women’s team beat Azusa Pacific on the same night.
“We had some losses that we should have won, but that’s part of playing in women’s basketball,” he said. “It’s also my favorite part of the job. When you struggle, you just have to work through that and learn from your mistakes, then move forward in life. Things don’t always go with what you think, and how you respond to the adversity will ultimately determine your success.”
Olson has played basketball for as long as he could remember, and his dad is a coach as well.
“For each game, Coach Olson has provided (the team) with the knowledge that we need to win,” said Lesley Vodicska, senior guard, working on her master’s in business administration. “Every opponent we play has a unique scouting report and he does a great job preparing us in practice so that when it comes to game time, we are well-organized and can play as a team collectively.”