In late December, Doane University announced that Jarrod Olson, head coach of California Baptist University’s women’s basketball team, had been inducted into the Doane University Hall of Fame for his outstanding performance as a college basketball player.
Olson is being recognized for playing for Doane University’s men’s basketball team from 1993-1997.
For Olson, he said discovering he was inducted was surreal.
“I hadn’t really thought that much about it before, so I was a little surprised,” Olson said. “But at the same time, I thought it was pretty exciting.”
Dr. Micah Parker, director of Athletics at CBU, said the induction was well-deserved.
“My initial thought was ‘Really?’ I was surprised he wasn’t in the Hall of Fame already,” Parker said.
Both Olson and Parker have a history dating back to Olson’s Doane days.
“I was an assistant coach for a team that played him in the conference and he was a player,” Parker said. “In his career, I’d scout against him. It was my job to try to make sure he didn’t score any points, and obviously that didn’t work, so I should take some credit.”
During his time playing on Doane’s basketball team, Olson learned a lot as a player that he now applies as a college basketball coach.
“We’ve been running one of the offenses I used in college a lot this year. That hasn’t been something we’ve done for the past five or six years I’ve been coaching and somehow it worked it’s way back in there,” Olson said. “It’s been giving me a little of a chuckle because it’s kind of funny to me that it’s something we’d still be doing.”
Olson reflected on his time playing at Doane and his personal growth.
“It was a time in my life where I learned a lot about myself and where I wanted to be as a person,” Olson said. “My favorite moments were sharing time with my teammates and developing relationships with people I still keep in contact with today.”
While the players on the CBU women’s basketball team congratulated their coach, Emily Schmidt, senior early childhood development major and guard/forward, did so in her own special way.
“One of my players, Emily Schmidt, managed to get a shirt from my school to give to me and has been threatening to wear it at practice,” Olson said.
Schmidt was able to give Olson the shirt because her brother had applied to Doane.
“When I went home for Christmas I was looking through his stuff, happened to see the shirt and grabbed it to give it to Coach Olson,” Schmidt said.
Parker said not only was Olson a talented player but is an extremely talented coach who honors Christ.
“That doesn’t always happen when you’re a great player and you become a good coach. That doesn’t necessarily transfer,” Parker said.
Olson said his goals were similar from his time as a player to his time currently as a coach, This helps him relate to his players.
“When I’m talking to individual players about goals they might have, I definitely look back at my time as a player and try to put myself in their shoes and see it from their perspective,” Olson said.
The ceremony for Olson’s induction into the Doane University Hall of Fame will take place April 6 at Doane University in Crete, Nebraska.