SPOKANE, WA –– (school release) Bryan Olson, the top assistant coach for the highly successful Whitworth men’s soccer program, has been selected to take over as the new head coach for the Pirate women’s soccer team, according to Whitworth Director of Athletics Tim Demant.
Olson will replace Jael Hagerott, who stepped down as women’s soccer coach in November after five seasons. He begins his new role immediately.
“I am extremely excited to have Bryan join our staff and give leadership to our women’s soccer program,” Demant said. “While we knew he was an individual of high character, our search committee was very impressed with his vision for the team.”
Olson has been the top assistant coach for the Whitworth men’s soccer team since 2010. His title was elevated to Associate Head Coach ahead of the 2015 season. Over that time the Pirate men’s team has posted a record of 66-17-12 and made the NCAA Division III Tournament three times (2012, 2014 and 2015).
Olson has worked under Sean Bushey, who served as Whitworth’s head men’s soccer coach for 17 seasons (1997-2012), and under current head coach Morgan Cathey (2013-current). He has been involved in all of the day-to-day operations within men’s soccer program over the last six seasons.
“Having worked with two of the most successful coaches in Whitworth soccer history, Bryan has prepared himself to lead our women’s soccer program to great heights,” Demant said.
“It was only a matter of time before Bryan took the next step to become a head coach and I am thrilled that it is here at Whitworth,” Cathey added. “I know that he is more than ready to lead the women¹s soccer team to a great deal of success. He has an affinity for a brand of soccer that is not only fun to play, but even more enjoyable as a spectator.”
Olson has also been the head coach of the top girls’ team in the Spokane Shadow Youth Soccer Club, the largest of its kind in Eastern Washington, since 2012.
Originally from Missoula, Montana, Olson was a standout player for the Pirates from 2006 – 2009. He was a four-year starter on the defensive back line and earned First Team All-Northwest Conference and Second Team All-Region recognition as a senior. That season Whitworth posted a team goals-against average of 0.83 and Olson led the team in minutes played as the Bucs advanced to the NCAA Division III Elite 8.
“Having been shaped tremendously by this place I have a deep gratitude for the opportunity to lead the Whitworth women’s soccer program,” Olson said. “I am eager to know and invest in each one of the people that make this program what it is!”
Olson will take over a program that finished 6-11-3 overall and 4-9-3 within the NWC in 2015 while suffering long-term injuries to several key players. Seven of the 11 losses were single-goal setbacks.
Hagerott, one of the greatest women’s soccer players in Whitworth history, posted a record of 39-43-16 in her five seasons as head coach, including a 33-32-15 mark against the Northwest Conference. She has elected to pursue other career opportunities.
“Bryan has an infectious personality that makes others better by just being around him, something that we believe will have a tremendous impact on our student-athletes,” Demant concluded.