In 2012, Jarrod Olson was welcomed to California Baptist University as the 10th head coach in the history of the women’s basketball team.
After spending six years as the women’s head coach at Florida Southern College, Olson came to California with a long record of success. But his career began with a love for basketball, which he said is traced back to his father, a coach himself.
“Just having access to (basketball) all the time made me really get into it,” Olson said. “I couldn’t imagine not being around some sport.”
His father’s career made Olson learn to enjoy basketball, and he pursued his own career as a player for Doane College in Nebraska. There, Olson was able to claim the school’s fifth spot on the all-time scoring list, racking up 2,018 career points.
Though he experienced success as an undergraduate, Olson said his desire was to be a coach. He said he knew he wanted to put the skills God had given him to good use.
In his time at FSC, he led the Moccasins to their first Sunshine State Conference title in 2011, their first since 2003.
Since then, he has had much success in coaching and has had time to adjust to California.
During his first year at CBU, Olson coached the Lancers to the third conference title in program history and the first for CBU as a member of the PacWest. The Lancers also had a record of 25-6 his first year.
Since then, he has adjusted and recently has started to stress two concepts that aid his players on the court and in life. “We really stress effort and attitude,” he said. “Those are things you can control, no matter what I do as a coach, what the referee does or your teammates do. You can always control your effort and your attitude. Just give it everything you can and go into each practice and each day with a great attitude.”
Another concept he teaches the women is the importance of playing for the team.
“We are trying to focus less on winning games (and) winning championships, and focus on playing for each other,” he said.
Erin Asher, sophomore kinesiology major and guard, said she has enjoyed having Olson as a coach.
“It is nice to have a coach that sets aside time to hear our opinions and is focused on the team improving,” Asher said.