The Bethany College department of athletics announced the hiring of Justin Olson as the new head of the women's soccer program.
"Bethany athletics has a strong tradition of excellence in our conference. I am pleased that we are adding an accomplished coach, like Coach Olson," said Bethany College President William Jones.
Olson comes to Bethany from NCAA Division II Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana. There he was the head women's coach managing the day-to-day operations for the team. As part of his successes at SJC, he recruited the largest class in SJC women's soccer history with 16 players, and his program had the second highest team GPA of any in the athletic department with a 3.6.
Before his time at Saint Joseph's Olson was the head coach of the men’s and women's programs at Calumet College of St. Joseph, an NAIA school in Whiting, Indiana. He was the head men's coach for four years and the head women's coach for three years.
While Olson was at Calumet, his men's team had the most overall season wins in school history as well as the first winning season in CCSJ history in 2015. In 2013, the team qualified for the CCAC Conference Tournament for the first time in school history; they qualified again in 2015. Also in 2015, the team had the highest team GPA in the school's history, 3.03.
On the women's side, Olson led his team to the best single season record in school history in 2013. He also coached multiple NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
"At Bethany, we hope to produce successful alumni who love God and love people. From my conversations with him, I know Coach Olson shares this hope for our student-athletes," President Jones said.
Olson was a national scout and the recruiting coordinator for the National Collegiate Scouting Association for two years before beginning at Calumet College. In this position, he educated families on the recruiting process. In order to do that Olson had to first establish the trust of these families and promote the value of his organization.
In the summer of 2010, Olson was selected as one of two recruiting coordinators to work with IMG Academy, an organization that assists with elite collegiate athletic prospects.
"From our initial conversation, we as a search committee felt like Coach Olson would be a great fit at Bethany College. His interview further solidified our thoughts. He has had success at the NAIA level and he had the foundation built for a quality program at St. Joseph's College. We are excited about the experience and relationship building he will bring to the Women's Soccer team, the Department of Athletics, and Bethany College," Bethany College Dean of Athletics and Student Development Dane Pavlovich said.
Olson has earned many awards and certifications throughout his coaching career. At Calumet College, he was named the Crimson Wave Coach of the Year for the 2013-14 school year. He is a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, and is a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma holder.
Olson also has a Level 3 Diploma from the NSCAA for Goalkeeping. In addition, Olson is the head coach for the Three Lions United soccer club in northwest Indiana.
Olson earned his Bachelors of Science degree in communications with an emphasis in business and public relations from the University of Southern Indiana in May of 2009. During his time at USI he was a member of the Screaming Eagle's Men's soccer team.
"I'd like to thank Dane Pavlovich, President Jones, the search committee, and coaching staff for this amazing opportunity at Bethany College," Olson said. "There is a great culture and family feel at Bethany College which made the opportunity very appealing. I'm very excited to begin working with the team and building on the success that is already in place. I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the support of my family, friends, and mentors over the years. I have very high expectations for the direction of the program and can't wait to hit the ground running," he continued.
Olson will begin his duties as the Swedes’ head coach on Monday. Olson and the Bethany women's soccer team will kick off their 2017 regular season at home on Aug. 27 against Central Methodist.