The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

October 9, 2013

Olsen leaves Woodrow for Shady Spring

When the Nabors brothers —Gene and Brian — were replaced at Woodrow Wilson earlier this year by former Shady Spring Middle School coach Ronnie Olsen, there were a lot of people left scratching their heads.

There’s bound to be even more now.

Just a little more than two months away from the start of the high school basketball season, Olsen has resigned as an assistant coach on Ron Kidd’s Flying Eagle staff, to take the same position at cross county rival Shady Spring, joining coach Steve Clark’s staff.

“The board office had decided to equalize the coaches,” Clark said. “We were down a coach, so we posted the job and Ronnie applied. Olsen’s a Shady Spring guy. He coached at the middle school for several years, and we’re lucky to have him.”

Olsen was successful at the middle school level. He brought a county championship home for the Tigers earlier this year.

“Ya know, I thought about it,” Olsen said of taking the job at Shady. “It was a tough decision, because, let’s face it, Woodrow is Woodrow. But I eventually want to be a head coach. That’s my ultimate personal goal. I knew my role for Shady would be bigger and that would help a lot. Coach (Clark) is excited to have me, and we discussed some things.”

The excitement was easily heard in the Tigers’ head coach.

“We always felt like he did a good job at the middle school,” Clark said. “He’s got good fundamentals. He’s a good motivator. He’s a really good fit for us.”

The move will reunite Olsen with a core of players from his eight years at Shady Middle.

“I know the kids are excited — I’m excited,” Olsen added. “I think we can make some noise. I’m an assistant coach, but Coach Clark knows my strengths. He’s going to let me do what I’m good at and have a lot of a hand at what goes on.”

One word to describe Olsen? Optimistic.

“I know that people are going to look and say, ‘Why would he leave Woodrow and go to Shady?’” he said. “But  I’m from Florida originally. I’m not a Woodrow guy. It’s about my kids. I want to move up eventually, and I thought Shady would be the better place to be.

“I think, maybe I’m naive, maybe it’s how I play and I coach, but I think we can compete, also,” Olsen added. “Even without Chase Connor and those guys. We have a core group of guys that won a county championship against those same kids going to Woodrow and we beat them handily. I have no doubt in my mind with the right coach and right offseason that we can compete for a state title.”

It wouldn’t be the first time Olsen has competed for a state title. He was part of an Independence team that made waves in Charleston, before losing in the championship game to Magnolia.

n n n

The move comes after a review by the Raleigh County Board of Education of the coaching situation in the county. Shady Spring was given one more assistant coach, to join Clark and assistant David Shaw, while Woodrow had one position eliminated.

The Flying Eagles now will have only a short amount of time to replace Olsen.

“A comprehensive review of the number of coaching positions by program at each high school was conducted to ensure equity in number based on student enrollment,” James G. Brown, Raleigh County Schools Superintendent said in an e-mail. “As a result of the review, a decision was made to eliminate the third assistant coaching position at Woodrow Wilson High School.

“When the review was done, we compared each school based on the number of students and coaching positions as they were assigned with the original intent of the board,” Brown said in a phone interview. “What we found was that, over time, Woodrow had a freshman basketball program and that coaching position was posted as an assistant coach. That was not the original intent. Woodrow had one more assistant than was originally indicated.”

Brown did suggest that it would be possible for Woodrow to gain back a fourth coach in the future.

“There’s not a freshman coaching job at this time,” Brown said. “That’s by design of the students that come out for the program. If they can fill a JV, varsity and freshman team in the future, the board will review  an additional coach.”

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 072514 Loomis The Greenbrier impresses Payton, Loomis

    When a deal was finalized on March 13 to bring the New Orleans Saints to The Greenbrier for three weeks of summer camp, Saints officials never doubted that the facility would be ready a little more than four months later for the first practice. INCLUDES VIDEO.


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WV Open 1 Hess Former Mountain Lions playing well at Open

    In sports like basketball or football, home field advantage can be the ultimate difference maker. The same can be said in golf.


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WV Open 2 Westfall Evans leads the field on rainy day at W.Va. Open

    The wind picked up, the rain started to fall and the scores were low at second round of the 81st West Virginia Open. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU rifle coach competing in native Scotland

    West Virginia University rifle coach John Hammond is competing in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in his native Scotland.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072414 WV Open.jpg Familiarity with Cobb helps Hess take lead

    It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Kenny Hess is comfortable playing the Cobb Course at Glade Springs Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Golf and motocross are Jude’s passions

    Motocross and golf have very little in common.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • How to discover and love Major League Soccer

    When I began my soccer fandom following a missions trip to Brazil in 2000, I didn’t know what my next step was. I knew I loved watching the game, but there weren’t a lot of options for seeing it in the U.S. I knew of Major League Soccer — mostly from my friend and current FC Dallas beat writer Drew Epperley — but it was hard to find.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp