Olsen brings deep, wide experience in and out of the water to DSHS Swim
A former U.S. national team member, NCAA All-American and two-time Texas high school coach of the year, Jeff Olsen enters his first season as head boys and girls swimming coach at Dripping Springs H.S.
Olsen grew up in Austin training with Longhorn Aquatics coaches Paul Bergen, Richard Quick and Kris Kubik. His age group and high school successes included setting a national age group record in the 13-14 200-meter freestyle, winning two junior national titles in the 200 free, and winning five events at the 1985 National Sports Festival.
As a college swimmer under University of Texas head coach Eddie Reese, Olsen earned All-America honors as a middle distance and distance freestyler. He won the 1987 Southwest Conference championship in the 500 free as a freshman and was a part of two NCAA championship teams with Texas. Other highlights at the NCAA level included placing eighth in the 200 free in 1987 NCAA Championships and leading off the Longhorns’ NCAA title winning 800 free relay in 1988.
Olsen represented the United States at the 1987 World University Games in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, placing second in the 200-meter free and anchored Team USA’s gold-medal winning 800 free relay. He also represented the U.S. in dual meet competition with the first unified German team in 1990, and competed at the 1986 and 1990 World Championship trials and 1988 Olympic Trials.During tenures as a newspaper editor and during overseas military service as a broadcast journalist and noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Army, Olsen coached several age group and summer-league swim teams. As a coach of the Yongsan Barracudas in Seoul, Korea, Olsen took Defense Department Youth Services teams to the Pacific Junior Olympics in Tokyo and Okinawa. Upon his honorable discharge from military service, Olsen returned to Texas to earn his teaching certificate in secondary English.In his first year as a high school swim coach, Olsen guided an Austin Lake Travis team that had placed 26th at the previous year’s state meet to a third-place finish, highlighted by a championship in the 200-yard free relay. He followed that success by earning consecutive girls state titles at Dallas Highland Park, which included four individual and three relay titles. He also coached the 2007 boys’ state champion in the 200-yard individual medley.In addition to earning state coach of the year honors from the Texas Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association and Dallas Morning News
, Olsen was the 2009 District 28-5A coach of the year at San Antonio O’Connor. From there, he moved into coaching at the college level, first as a volunteer assistant with the Texas A&M men’s team and then as head coach of Iowa Central Community College. He has worked as a swim camp counselor at Texas A&M, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Northern Colorado.
Olsen has a master of arts in journalism and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and English from the University of Texas. He will teach English III at Dripping Springs and coordinate the newspaper and yearbook programs.
He is married to the former Susan Honaker and has four children: Olivia, a graduate of the University of North Texas, Mark (16), Gretchen (11) and Heidi (10).