Olson Named to Replace Connor
- released by OPSU Campus Communications on 02-26-07
Goodwell, Okla. - Oklahoma Panhandle State University President Dave Bryant announced Monday that, pending approval by the A&M Board of Regents, Jerry Olson will fill the head men’s basketball coaching position, a spot that came open when Curt Connor announced his retirement from college basketball at the end of this season. Olson currently serves as the head women’s coach and athletic director. A national search for the women’s position is underway, and Olson will remain athletic director.
This proven coach led a successful Lady Aggies program in the mid-1990s, then served as an assistant men’s coach at Montana State in Bozeman before returning to OPSU as head women’s coach and athletic director in 2004. In fact, Olson was inducted into the Montana State University Hall of Fame this past fall. He helped coach Montana State to the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I Big Sky Championship in 1996. The Bobcats lost in the first round of the national competition to Syracuse, the team that went on to be beaten in the Championship game by Kentucky.
His second term at the helm of the Lady Aggies program began with the 2004-2005 season, and Olson was named Co-Coach of the Year in the Heartland Conference, sharing the honor with Nyla Milleson of Drury University. He took a team that had experienced far more losses than wins in the two previous seasons to the Heartland Conference post-season tournament that year, and followed it up with another post-season appearance the following year, losing a heartbreaker in the final to St. Mary’s, 64-69.
Connor exhibited the same success with the men’s program, and came from Triton Junior College in Illinois the same year as Olson to lead the men’s team to the conference tournament in 2005 and 2006.
Bryant said, “We will certainly miss Coach Connor’s leadership and experience on the basketball court as well as his insistence that players finish their education. Curt and Jerry both restored dignity and excellence to the programs and made OPSU a respected school in the Heartland Conference.”