by Ed Beach
Drury University Vice President and Director of Athletics Corey Bray announced Justin Olson as head coach of the women’s soccer program.
Olson has been a collegiate women’s head coach for seven seasons, with the previous three spent at Bethany College in Kansas. He led the NAIA program to winning seasons in two of his three years there, and in 2018, he guided the team to their most wins in school history, finishing 12-6-2. Olson became the first coach in program history to win 26 games within three seasons and went 27-24-4 in three years at Bethany.
Last year, Olson had eight players named all-conference in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Association, and his squad also produced the league’s Freshman of the Year, forward Julianna Lopez. His team also set program records in 2018 in goals allowed with 13 and shutouts with 10.
“After an extensive search, I am excited to have Justin join us as our new head women’s soccer coach,” said Bray. “Justin brings to Drury several years of previous head coaching experience combined with a deep passion for making an impact in the lives of young women through the sport of soccer. Justin’s coaching philosophy aligns nicely with the mission, vision, values, and culture of the Drury athletics department and, therefore, will provide a solid foundation for the program under his leadership. With Justin leading the program, our women’s soccer student-athletes will be more than champions: in the classroom, in the community, and in competition. Panthers fans, please join me in welcoming Justin to the Drury family!”
Olson served as head coach at Saint Joseph’s in 2016 during the school’s final year of operation and was the head coach at Calumet College of St. Joseph’s in the NAIA from 2013 to 2015. In 2013, he guided Calumet to their best record in program history as the squad picked up six wins.
In addition to numerous all-conference accolades, his teams have also been successful in the classroom. Olson saw his Bethany team improve from a 2.9 grade-point-average to a 3.4 GPA during his tenure. His Saint Joseph’s squad had a 3.6 team GPA, the second-best mark among teams at the institution that year.
Olson also spent four years as the head coach for the men’s soccer team at Calumet from 2012 to 2015 and was the program’s assistant coach from 2009 to 2012. He also served as the head coach for NWI United and Three Lions United in northwest Indiana from 2012 to 2017 at the club level. He’s also been a staff coach for Northwestern University’s Girls Academy since 2016.
“I am excited and honored to be named head coach of the Drury University women’s soccer team,” said Olson. “I want to thank Vice President and Director of Athletics Corey Bray and Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Darian Westerfield along with the rest of the Drury search committee for entrusting me with this amazing opportunity. From the moment I stepped on campus, met the staff, and toured the facilities, I knew this would be a great fit for my wife and I. Drury University is a top academic school in the midwest and the community is very welcoming. My staff and I will work relentlessly to recruit the best student-athletes that will best represent Drury University at the highest level. I am excited to begin working with the team and building a program that Drury University will be proud of.
“I would also like to thank my wife, Taryn, and my parents, for their constant support over the years. I would also like to thank my mentors Peter Haring, Mis’ Mrak, and A.J. Monroe, for their guidance over the years. I cannot wait to get started.”
Olson played collegiate soccer at Southern Indiana from 2005 to 2008 and graduated from USI with a degree in Communications in 2008.
He replaces Alf Bilbao, who resigned following the conclusion of the 2019 season. Olson will be the sixth head coach for Drury women’s soccer since the program began in 1991.