ULM introduces Charlie Olson as Head Volleyball Coach

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MONROE, La. – Charlie Olson has been named the head indoor volleyball and beach volleyball coach at ULM, Director of Athletics Scott McDonald announced Wednesday morning. Olson’s hiring is pending approval by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.

“We’re tremendously excited to add Coach Olson and his family to our Warhawk family,” McDonald said. “He brings experience, a stellar record of recruiting student-athletes and will continue to build a winning culture.”

Olson comes to ULM after spending the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at Sam Houston State University. Olson worked for long-time SHSU coach Brenda Gray, helping lead the Bearkats to 86 victories and five consecutive appearances in the Southland Conference tournament.

“I would like to thank Scott McDonald, Todd Dooley, Lakeyn Bolfing and the selection committee for providing this opportunity for me and my family,” Olson said. “I also want to thank Coach Brenda Gray and my family at Sam Houston State volleyball for the past five and a half years. It’s been an honor and a privilege coaching at SHSU. I want to thank God, my family, my mentors, and of course my wife, Jill, for always being by my side and supporting me throughout my coaching career. We look forward to planting roots and calling Monroe our new home for me, Jill, and my two boys, Van and Reid.”

“I’m genuinely excited about this opportunity for myself and for my family,” Olson said. “From the mentors that I spoke with, and even Coach Gray, she said ‘you’re ready. You’re ready for this move.’ She’s excited for me, which is very cool to have her support. There’s some really cool things that I’ve learned from her that I will absolutely use to my advantage at ULM.”

Olson joined the staff at SHSU in 2014, where his responsibilities included recruiting, match statistics, video breakdown and distribution, individual sessions and practice competition. He also handled the majority of the team’s social media content.

Olson says he’s excited to work with both the indoor and beach squads at ULM.

“The opportunity to come in and become an inspirational figure for young women on both the indoor and beach teams is something that is very rare,” Olson said. “When this position became available, it quickly piqued my interest.”

Olson says the upward trajectory of both the indoor and beach programs made the opportunity attractive.

“From talks that I’ve had with the administration, they passed word to me that these girls are ready to rock and roll,” Olson said. “They’re excited. They’re ready to take what they used last year and continue that fire. That gets me excited. That’s the type of program that I want to be a part of.”

With the indoor team set to report for the season this week, Olson is prepared to get to work quickly with his new team.

“I want to get in there and get to know them, get to know their goals, let them know what are my goals and aspirations, from the new freshmen coming in to the three seniors who will be graduating,” Olson said. “I want to be able to impact their lives in a positive form and continue to be competitive on the court. I’m a very positive person by nature and competitive. We will impart that on them and pull it out of them when we need to.”

Prior to SHSU, Olson served as a volunteer assistant coach at Tennessee, where he helped train All-American libero Ellen Mullins. Olson has been involved in playing and coaching volleyball for 18 years with stops in California, Idaho, Arizona, Virginia and Tennessee. In 2012, he was the Virginia State AAA Coach of the Year after leading Floyd E. Kellam High School to a third straight state championship.

Olson attended Chico State University, where he played on the men’s club volleyball team for four years. As a senior, he earned All-America honors at the national tournament as a middle blocker. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and marketing from Chico State, and also earned a Master of Arts degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University, Irvine.

Olson also says his family played an important role in deciding to come to ULM.

“This is a big family decision for me with my wife and two young kids,” Olson said. “The city of Monroe and the university was very welcoming with that respect. The combination of the job opportunity for being able to coach two groups of young athletes and be an impact on their lives, as well as the opportunity for my family to plant roots and grow, it made it very clear that this was the right move for us.”

What others are saying about Charlie Olson:

“I believe he’s ready. He has a passion for volleyball. He loves the game. He’s a good family man. I think he’ll bring a family atmosphere. That’s what we have here at Sam Houston. He bought into the way we do things here. I think he really relished the relationships that we have with our team here. I really believe that he will keep that and transfer that over to ULM. We really care about our student athletes here at Sam Houston within the volleyball program. Academics are a high priority for us, and the game, for sure. You’ve always got to be competitive and have a constant drive to win that championship. I felt that Charlie was just about ready last year, and I believe with this opportunity knocking right in front of him, I think he’ll do a wonderful job for ULM. I’m excited for him.”
– Brenda Gray, Sam Houston State University head volleyball coach

“I believe that Charlie has been ready to be a head coach for a long time now. He’s a very good recruiter. He’s a very good floor coach. I think he’ll do really well in the Sun Belt.”
– David Rehr, University of Houston head volleyball coach

“I’m a big fan of Charlie’s. He’s a good one. He’s a great recruiter and brings high energy. He’s going to hit the ground running and do some great things. He’s a great family man, as well.”
– Tony Graystone, Texas Tech University head volleyball coach

“He’s a family person. He’s going to bring that family atmosphere to the team. He’s a very hard worker and very dedicated to his craft. I think you’ll see somebody that has great relationships with his players while also getting the most out of his players. I think his players are really going to enjoy playing for him. He’s a super person and I think that’s one thing that will come through right away when you meet him. He knows the game really well. I believe he gathered some experience while working for me. He was somebody who came in with experience already and we were able to use that. As he’s gone through his career and worked for Coach Gray at Sam Houston State, he’s got some great experiences under his belt that will help him be successful at ULM. I’m really happy for him. I think it’s a great fit.”
– Rob Patrick, former University of Tennessee head volleyball coach

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