Men's indoor track and field rallies in final three events to win SLC crown
Track and Field Coach Phil Olson Sweeps SLC Coach of the Year Honors
T&F adds 14 state champions, and a two-time All-American to roster
Smith, Griffin named Ladyjack MVP; Arthur, Brown-Stewart receive men's award
SFA's track and field coach talks about team's success on Comcast Sports
A 13-time Southland Conference Coach of the Year, Phil Olson is in his 14th season as the SFA head track and field coach. During his time at the helm, Olson has built SFA into a perennial conference power, as well as a program that is respected on a national level. Olson's tenure has brought a combined 22 SLC team titles in cross country and track and field. During the past 10 seasons, 25 of Olson's athletes have competed in the NCAA Championships, including one Lumberjack who competed at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials. Only four other conference members have won more combined SLC track and field titles than Olson, and among those schools only one is still a current member of the Southland.
With Olson guiding the way, SFA has won championships with reckless abandon. SFA swept the 2005 indoor conference championships and the 2011 outdoor conference championships, while the Ladyjacks recorded a rare track and field triple crown in 2010-11 taking the team titles during the cross country, indoor and outdoor seasons. The Ladyjacks' 2012 outdoor title also locked up the school's second SLC Commissioner's Cup in the past three years.
Olson's athletes also have made an impact at the national level since his arrival in Nacogdoches. Olson has had 53 athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships during his time in Nacogdoches, including former jumper DeVaughn Rettig who followed a stellar SFA career by competing at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials in the triple jump. Under Olson's watch, SFA has produced 539 All-SLC performances, set 236 school records, had 158 SLC individual champions, 12 SLC MVPs, six All-Americans, seven SLC Track Athletes of the Year, seven SLC Freshmen of the Year, seven SLC High-Point Scorers, eight SLC Field Athletes of the Year and two conference newcomers of the year.
With coaching responsibilities distributed among a staff of six full-time coaches, Olson concentrates on the SFA throwers. The throws program has really taken off under Olson's direction. The SFA throwers have posted 27 NCAA qualifying marks and 66 NCAA regional qualifying performances, won 23 SLC individual titles, earned 67 All-SLC honors, and set 56 school records, including Frednisha Marshall who had a dominating run through the conference setting records and receiving athlete of the week honors on almost a weekly basis. Marshall closed out the 2009 season by finishing third nationally in the weight throw to earn All-America honors, just missing the individual title. She returned the following season to once again finish among the nation's elite.
Olson's teams also achieve success in the classroom. SFA has produced 10 Academic All-Americans in the last 11 years, and 16 athletes have been named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic team. The SFA women have been named an USTFCCCA All-Academic team in three of the past four seasons. In addition to these numbers Olson has produced eight SLC Student-Athletes of the Year.
Olson came to SFA in 2000 as the head coach of the Lumberjack program. The following season, Olson was named head coach for both the SFA men's and women's teams. Olson brought home the first track and field title in school history in 2003 when he guided the Ladyjacks to the SLC Outdoor Title. Since then, SFA has accumulated 12 more team championships (a sweep of the 2005 SLC Indoors and the 2011 outdoors). The men's and women's cross country programs also have combined for nine championships during Olson's watch.
Prior to taking over at SFA, Olson spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Virginia, where he directed the throws program. While at Virginia, Olson developed 21 NCAA Division I qualifiers, 19 Atlantic Coast Conference Champions, eight school record-holders, four All-Americans, four Olympic Trials qualifiers, three ACC record-holders, and an American and collegiate record-holder.
From 1990 to 1993, Olson was an assistant coach in the women's track and field program at Clemson, where he was part of two conference championship teams. Olson also coached an NCAA All-American and an Olympic Trials qualifier in the shot put, as well as ACC Champions in the shot put, discus and javelin.
Olson received his master's degree in sports medicine from Virginia in 1990. He and his wife, Donna, an athletic trainer in Lufkin, have a daughter, Addie, and a son, Tobie.
Olson Résumé 22 Southland Conference Titles 13-Time SLC Coach of the Year 2-Time Joe Richardson Track Award Recipient 2003 USTCA South Central District Coach of the Year