SEWARD, Neb. – For the second time in four seasons, Concordia University head women’s basketball coach Drew Olson has been named one of six United States Marine Corps/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association NAIA Regional Coaches of the Year, as announced by the WBCA on Tuesday. Olson, the Region 2 coach of the year, received the same honor in 2011-12 when he guided the Bulldogs to GPAC regular-season and tournament titles.
All regional coaches of the year are finalists for the Pat Summitt Trophy to be presented to the 2015 United States Marine Corps/WBCA NAIA National Coach of the Year during the Fifth Annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday, April 6, in the Grand Ballroom at the Tampa Marriott Waterside. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four®.
"The WBCA congratulates these six outstanding coaches on being named finalists for the Pat Summitt Trophy, presented to the 2015 United States Marine Corps/WBCA NAIA National Coach of the Year," said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. "Each coach was selected as a finalist by their peers after leading their respective teams to exceptional seasons. The WBCA appreciates and applauds each coach’s commitment to their student-athletes, institutions, and communities.”
This season Olson led Concordia to a 35-3 overall record, a GPAC tournament title and the program’s first-ever appearance in the NAIA Division II national title game. The 2003 Concordia graduate holds program coaching records for overall wins (226), conference wins (122), national tournament wins (11) and national tournament appearances (seven). Over the last four seasons, Concordia has won two GPAC regular-season championships and has captured two GPAC tournament trophies. In 2012 Olson was named the GPAC coach of the year.
In Olson’s nine seasons, Concordia players have been named first, second or third team All-Americans a total of nine times. Two-time GPAC player of the year Bailey Morris blossomed with the help of Olson. On Tuesday she was tabbed the program’s first-ever national player of the year.
“I'm so thankful for Coach Olson,” Morris said. “Plain and simple, I wouldn't have become the player I did without him. He challenged me every day, mentally and physically, to make myself better and to make those around me better. He is a huge, huge reason for my success.”
Region 2 of the NAIA encompasses 45 institutions across the Great Plains Athletic Conference, Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference and North Star Athletic Association.
The six coaches recognized with regional honors by the WBCA were:
Region 1 – Shelley Jarrard, Westminster College
Region 2 – Drew Olson, Concordia University
Region 3 – Dale Neal, Freed-Hardeman University
Region 4 – Mike Williams, Davenport University
Region 5 – Ginger Colvin, Campbellsville University
Region 6 – Chris Nelson, Bethel University (Tenn.)