Track Coach William Ola To Retire From Coaching


Courtesy of John Porisch

Coach Ola with friends and family at a state track and field state meet.

William Ola, an operations manager at BSM, will be retiring from his track coach position this year. His tenure as a coach at BSM was filled with different positions and relationships.

Ola started coaching track after being approached by the assistant principal who was the track coach at the time. She knew that Ola ran track and competed in the throwing events in highschool and thought Ola would be a good fit in. “I was 22 years old, and Mrs. Anderson, the Assistant Principal, was coaching high jump. She came up to me, she goes well, do you like to coach Track because I know you ran track in high school…And that’s how I started coaching track in high school,” Ola said.

With his background in the sport, Ola thought it would also be easy to make the switch to coaching. “I’ve always wanted to coach because I was a good athlete in high school and for most good athletes, it’s easy for them to transition into being a coach, because they understand what it’s like to be an athlete, it just comes natural,” Ola said.

Ola had a long tenure, coaching many different sports from basketball, soccer and track. “I coached JV soccer at BSM for 20 years, and I retired (from soccer). Yeah, and we won four state titles. And I coached basketball at BSM for 16 years, a combination of eighth and ninth grade.” Ola said

Ola has been both an assistant in track but for a long time he was the head coach and for the last few years he has stepped down and let the younger guys secure their spot as head coach. “I was head coach for at least 28-29 years. And in the last couple of years I’ve been an assistant because I was winding down,” Ola said.

I was head coach for at least 28-29 years. And in the last couple of years I’ve been an assistant because I was winding down,

— William Ola

Ola planned to retire 4 years ago but one kid, CJ Sauer kept Ola in the program. They made an agreement, if CJ stayed and threw with the team, Ola would coach. “And after eighth grade, I thought he was going to quit. I said CJ, I think you can be really good. I was going to retire from coaching track but if you stay and do shot put from now till you graduate, I would stay at coach track. And that was the deal me and him made…but he held his end of the bargain. And I held my end of the bargain,” Ola said.

Ola was a good leader and pushed his kids to be their best. He emphasized kids working on smaller things and would reward them when they outperformed during the season. ”Every single time that one of our throwers beat their season goal, they get a DQ cake, like an ice cream cake,” Sauer said.

When asking his throwers and runners how they would describe Ola they came up with many different adjectives. “I would describe him as intense leader while also making it fun for everyone and lastly he was very caring, we’ve formed a bond where he really cares about me and my athletic performance and I really care about him and his coaching,” Sauer
As this is Ola’s last season he wants to end on a high note. “I would love to see us win two team one more time, that would be a great going away present,” Ola said.