Collegiate track and field's most prestigious individual award will be presented in San Antonio on Thursday night
Phil Olson has made Stephen F. Austin into a force in the Southland Conference in track and field and cross country. Olson took over the men's program prior to the 2000 season and began leading the women's program in the fall of 2000. Under his leadership the Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks have combined to win a total of 26 conference championships. While leading the program Olson has coached the throwers at SFA as well.
SFA has won more women's conference titles than any other school in the Southland all-time and all under Olson's leadership. The Ladyjacks went on a string of dominance rarely seen in track and field winning both the indoor and outdoor conference titles for five years straight from 2009-13. During that span, the Ladyjacks won 25 individual outdoor titles and 22 indoors.
Thrown into the mix with the 10 straight track and field team titles, the Ladyjacks won the Southland Conference Championship in cross country in 2011 and 2013 to mark a pair of SLC triple crowns for SFA.
With the 13 women's track and field titles and four on the men's side, Olson has been named Southland Conference Coach of the Year a record 17 times. Also showing the strength and consistency of the program across the board, SFA has finished runner-up at the conference championship meets in cross country, indoor and outdoor a combined 22 times during his tenure leading the program.
Olson has guided SFA to 16 All-America performances as the head coach, with a large portion of that success coming over the last two years.
SFA's men cracked the USTFCCCA Top 25 Rankings heading into the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships as the Lumberjacks entered the meet No. 24 in the nation. It was the first time SFA had been in the top 25 since finishing in a tie for 22nd place at the 1996 NCAA Championship.
In 2014, SFA had seven All-Americans, plus one honorable mention. The squad in 2013 had three All-America performances at the NCAA Championship meet outdoors with the men's 4x400 relay earning honorable mention.
The 2013 campaign saw one of Olson's throwers have an impressive year. Jon Arthur won the conference title indoors in the shot put and weight throw while qualifying for the NCAA Championship indoors in the shot put. He went on to win the conference title outdoors in the shot put and hammer throw as well. At the NCAA Championship outdoors, he finished 13th in the shot put.
During his tenure as the head coach at SFA, the men's and women's teams have combined to win 162 individual conference titles in track and field while the distance coaches have produced nine individual crowns in cross country.
Student-athletes at SFA have made an impact in the classroom as well under Olson's guidance. The SFA Track & Field and Cross Country programs have garnered seven Academic All-America honors during his time as head coach.
A highly respected coach across the nation by his peers, Olson serves more than his own student-athletes and coaches. Since 2010, Olson has been a member of the NCAA Track and Field Championship Committee, including serving as the sub-committee chair for the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Prior to taking the reins of the SFA program, Olson served as an assistant coach at Virginia where he worked the throwers for the Cavaliers. Olson coached 21 NCAA qualifiers and 19 ACC champions. His athletes broke eight school records at Virginia and he saw four earn All-America honors.
Olson also served as an assistant coach at Clemson from 1990-93 for the women's track and field program. The Tigers won two ACC titles during his stint and Olson coached multiple individual conference champions.
Olson received his master's degree in sports medicine from Virginia in 1990. He and his wife, Donna, reside in Central Heights and have two children, a daughter, Addie, and a son, Tobie.
Phil Olson Honors 17-time Southland Conference Coach of the Year Member NCAA Championship Committee since 2010 7 Academic All-Americans 2-time SLC Women's Triple Crown - 2010-11, 2012-13 Most women's conference championships in SLC history: 13 30 SLC Champions in Throwing Events All-Americans - 16 2001 Indoor: Adam Keul, Misty Ballard 2002 Indoor: Adam Keul 2002 Outdoor: Adam Keul 2009 Indoor: Frednisha Marshall 2013 Indoor: Colton Ross 2013 Outdoor: Cass Brown-Stewart, Jon Arthur, Madison Johnston, 2014 Outdoor: Josh Taylor (2x), Colton Ross, Cass Brown Stewart (2x), Hampton Hawkins, Torin Crowder
SLC Runner-Up Finishes - 22 Men Indoor: 3 Women Indoor: 5 Men Outdoor: 4 Women Outdoor: 2 Men XC: 3 Women XC: 5
· 13 SLC Athletes of the Year · 8 Southland Conference Outstanding Track Performers of the Year · 11 Southland Conference Outstanding Field Performers of the Year · 10 SLC Championship High Point Scorers · 9 SLC Freshmen of the Year · 72 Indoor SLC Individual Champions · 90 Outdoor SLC Individual Champions · 9 Cross Country Individual Champions