California Baptist University Director of Athletics Dr. Micah Parker announced the hiring of Jarrod Olson as the Lancers' new women's basketball head coach on April 12, 2012.
Olson comes to CBU after six seasons as the head coach at NCAA Division II Florida Southern. He will be the 10th coach in the Lancer program's 37-year history.
Olson inherits a Lancer team that returns the majority of its players, including All-Pacific West Conference honorees Myriah Hicks and Simone Holmes, from a team that finished 22-7 overall and was second place in the PacWest at 14-4 in its first season in the conference.
With an extensive history of success at Florida Southern, Olson led the Moccasins to back-to-back Sunshine State Conference (SSC) regular-season titles and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the second round both times. In 2011, he also guided the Moccasins to their first SSC tournament title and NCAA tournament appearance since 2003.
In six seasons at Florida Southern, Olson, the two-time SSC Coach of the Year, posted a 113-61 (.650) record. Throughout Olson's first five seasons, the program improved its win total each year, culminating in back-to-back 24-plus win seasons in 2011 and 2012.
Prior to his time at FSC, Olson served as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Creighton for four seasons. He helped guide the team to a 75-49 record that included a pair of 24-win seasons. In 2004, the Bluejays won the Women's National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and during Olson's tenure the team finished first or second in the Missouri Valley Conference three times.
In the summer of 2005, he coached the Otago Breakers of the Women's National Basketball League in Dunedin, New Zealand, earning WNBL Coach of the Year honors. Prior to his time at Creighton, Olson built the program at College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Neb., helping the program to a 13-game improvement after he was hired in 2000.
Olson's coaching career began at Emporia State where he was a graduate assistant in 1998. Emporia State was 33-1 and the NCAA Division II runner-up. Before taking the job at College of Saint Mary, Olson was an assistant men's basketball coach for one year at Millard South High School in Omaha and an assistant men's basketball coach at Bellevue University for one season.
As a player, Olson was an NAIA All-American at Doane College in Crete, Neb., still ranking fifth on the school's all-time scoring list with 2,018 career points. He also played briefly with the Queens Graduates basketball club in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Olson married his wife, Amy, in 2003. She is a former college basketball player and served as an assistant coach with her husband for the Otago Breakers. The Olsons have a one-year-old son, Eamon, and their second child is due in February.