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Erik Olson
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Graduating Year: 1997
Experience: 10 Years
Phone: (989) 621-4013
Email: olson1ej@cmich.edu
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Olson Photos
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Olson Videos
Erik Olson
Courtesy: CMU Athletic Communications
Release: 01/22/2014

Through 10 seasons at Central Michigan, Erik Olson’s tenure at the helm of the Chippewa volleyball program has been marked with success and distinction.

Charged with the revitalization of the CMU program when hired in 2004, Olson’s efforts came to their ultimate fruition in 2011 when his Chippewas captured the program's first Mid-American Conference Tournament title, halting a 33-year drought and earning Central Michigan volleyball its first ever trip to the NCAA postseason.

Olson’s put in place key building blocks from 2006-09, when CMU secured four straight winning seasons, the most in program history since 1986. CMU was 75-47 during the four-year run, a stretch that included the program's first postseason win since 1982, its first appearance in the Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals since 1996, its first 20-win season since 1985 and the biggest one-year turnaround in MAC history.

In 2008, Olson was named MAC Coach of the Year, becoming the first CMU coach to earn the conference’s highest honor.

Olson has coached 10 First Team All-MAC choices, Kate Fissel (2007), Whitney Evers (2008), Lauren Krupsky (2009), Kaitlyn Schultz (2008-2011), Jenna Coates (2012) and Kaitlyn McIntyre (2012 and 2013), and eight Second Team All-MAC selections.

The Chippewas have also had an honoree on the MAC All-Freshman squad in four of the past seven seasons - Lauren Krupsky (2007), Kaitlyn Schultz (2008), Kaitlyn McIntyre (2011) and Angelique White (2012). Schultz was also named MAC Freshman of the Year in 2008 and MAC Tournament MVP in 2011.  Kelly Maxwell was honored on the MAC All-Tournament team in 2011, while leading the MAC in assists per set in 2012 and ranked No. 11 nationally in the same category.

Top notch recruiting has laid the foundation for success during Olson’s time at CMU, as six of his classes (2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012) have been ranked among the nation's top 100.

Under Olson, academics have been a priority for CMU Volleyball, as the program has earned the GamePlan/American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award in six-straight seasons, an honor that requires a minimum of a 3.30 team GPA. The volleyball program was also awarded the 2007-08 Dick Enberg Team Leadership Award, recognizing the CMU program which best meets the following five criteria – overall grade point average, academic progress rate, community service, athletic performance and commitment to excellence. The Chippewas have had 12 Academic All-MAC choices in Olson's nine seasons.

In 2012, the Chippewas went 16-14, defeating six teams with higher RPI rankings. Central Michigan beat Ohio in back-to-back matches for the first time since 1994-95, and Western Michigan in consecutive matches for the first time since 2006. The team also posted its best MAC regular season record in four years.

In 2011, Olson recorded his 100th win in the team's third match of the season against Saint Louis. The Chippewas defeated five teams with higher RPI rankings, including No. 16 Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship match.

In 2008, Central just missed posting its second straight 20-win season at 19-11, and earned a bye in the opening round of the MAC Tournament, thanks to a 12-4 league mark and a second place finish in the West Division. The 12 MAC wins were the most since 1994, when the Chippewas finished 14-3.

The 2007 campaign saw CMU take another step forward in its resurgence, posting its first 20-win season since 1985 with a 22-10 overall record. CMU also recorded just its second double-digit win MAC season since 1996 with a 10-6 league mark, good enough for second place in the West Division. The Chippewas got off to the best start in program history at 8-0 and posted two eight-game winning streaks. Central went on to defeat Toledo in the opening round of the MAC Tournament, ending the 24-year postseason victory drought.

Olson guided CMU to a 17-13 overall record in 2006 and the Chippewas finished just below .500 in the conference at 7-9. That 12.5-game improvement in the overall standings, the largest ever in conference history, came just one season after CMU went 3-24 overall and 0-16 in the league in 2005.

In his 10 seasons, Olson owns a 145-154 record at CMU.

Central Michigan announced Olson’s hiring as the fourth coach in Chippewa volleyball history on June 2, 2004.

Olson came to CMU after helping start the University of Miami’s program in 2001. He was the Hurricanes’ top assistant for three seasons, helping Miami to a record of 66-22 (.750). Miami reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2002 and finished in the Top 25 poll. Olson’s primary responsibility was mentoring the middle blockers and team blocking.

Prior to Miami, Olson was the assistant coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee for one season in 2000. The Panthers went 23-5 and won the Midwestern Collegiate Conference regular season title, receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Olson has extensive high school and club level coaching experience, including working with the USA Volleyball Men’s Junior National Team.

The 41-year-old Olson began his coaching career as the founder of the Marquette University (Wis.) High School boys’ program in 1994, where he served as the head coach for three seasons. Olson also spent three seasons as the girls’ varsity coach at Shorewood High School in Shorewood, Wis., from 1997-99. Both stops featured a conference title.

From 1995-2001, Olson was head coach of the North Shore Milwaukee Volleyball Club, serving as the co-director from 1998-2001. There he directed all phases of the boys’ Junior Olympic program that was one of the top clubs in the country.

He was co-head coach of the Boys’ USA National High Performance Camp in Colorado Springs in 1999 and an assistant coach for the USA Men’s Junior National Team in Lake Placid, N.Y., in 2000. The team won a bronze medal in the NORCECA Championships in Cuba.

The Milwaukee native graduated from Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in geology. He was a four-year letter winner for the Panthers and served as team captain in 1995.
Upon completion of his career, Olson ranked in the top five in several career statistical categories, including holding the school’s all-time block record. In 1991, he was a member of the North Shore Volleyball Club team that won the 19 and under national championship.

Erik and his wife, Becky (Stewart), were married in 2002. She was a four-year volleyball letter winner at Northern Illinois, earning first team All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference honors in 1996 and first team All-MAC and AVCA all-district honors in 1997.

The couple has two children, Nathan (seven) and Samuel (five), and resides in Mount Pleasant.

 

The Olson File
1994-1996 Marquete University (Wis.) High School Boys' Head Coach  
1997-1999 Shorewood High School (Shorewood, Wis.) Girls' Varsity Head Coach  
2000 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Assistant Coach  
2001-2003 University of Miami (Fla.) Assistant Coach  
2004 Central Michigan University Head Coach 7-23
2005 Central Michigan University Head Coach 3-24
2006 Central Michigan University Head Coach 17-13
2007 Central Michigan University Head Coach 22-10
2008 Central Michigan University Head Coach 19-11
2009 Central Michigan University Head Coach 17-13
2010 Central Michigan University Head Coach 14-15
2011 Central Michigan University Head Coach 19-14
2012 Central Michigan University Head Coach 16-14
2013 Central Michigan University Head Coach 11-17
   

Career Record (10 seasons)

145-154