Olson’s outstanding

Olson’s outstanding

Scituate’s Kris Olson proudly shows off the jacket he recently received for winning the Soccer R.I. Girls Competitive Coach of the Year award.
Scituate youth mentor receives Soccer R.I. Girls’ Competitive Coach of the Year award

SCITUATE – Kris Olson was attending a neighborhood party 15 years ago when he was approached by a neighbor, Steve Mare, who asked him if he’d be interested in helping him coach his children’s soccer team.

Mare had sought Olson’s services in the past, especially since Olson had played soccer at Ponaganset High in the early 1980s and for a men’s rec league. But Olson had two daughters at the time who were too young to play, and he didn’t accept Mare’s offer simply because “I would have felt a little uncomfortable (coaching) because I didn’t have any kids playing and I didn’t know how people would view that.”

But Mare continued his recruitment pitch at the party, “and I finally said, ‘You know what, Steve? I’ll do it,’” Olson said.

Since that day, Olson hasn’t put away his whistle or clipboard. He’s still going strong as a youth coach, and over the years, he’s quietly put together an outstanding career.

How outstanding? Olson was selected the 2019 Soccer R.I. Girls’ Competitive Coach of the Year, and even though he wasn’t honored at the organization’s banquet, which was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he received a pleasant surprise on Saturday, June 13, when a parade of 15 cars, which contained friends, players, and family members, slowly motored past his house and serenaded him with honks and cheers.

“I was dumbfounded that they had a parade for me,” said Olson, who admitted that he was surprised he won the award and received a commemorative blue jacket for his achievement. “But it was great. I’ve been at (coaching) for a pretty long time.”

Olson, whose oldest daughter, Meagan, graduated from Scituate High in 2018, and youngest, Julia, is entering her junior year at Scituate this fall and enjoyed excellent sophomore seasons for the SHS girls’ soccer and basketball teams, has certainly been coaching for a pretty long time, and not just in the Scituate Youth Soccer Association.

Olson also spent time coaching in the nearby Burrillville-Glocester Youth Soccer Association, and he was active as an assistant or head coach for various outdoor and indoor recreational and competitive teams in the girls’ and co-ed divisions.

He’s also coached summer league soccer for Scituate High, and he’s put in a couple of seasons on the coaching staff of the Scituate Middle School girls’ soccer team. In 2017, Olson was the head coach of the squad that repeated as Central/West Division regular-season champions.

“And I’ll have parents helping out,” added Olson, who is currently coaching a Super Liga U19 girls’ soccer team that contains players from Scituate, Glocester, and Burrillville and his daughter, Julia. “I used to get them on the field with the kids so they understood what the kids were going through.”

Olson, who credited the tutelage he received from a fellow coach, Domenic Delmonico, has also served as a basketball mentor, as he has also worked on the recreational and travel levels as an assistant or a head coach for the Scituate and Johnston youth programs.

He’s also served on the staff of the Scituate Youth Association, and according to a press release sent on his behalf to Soccer R.I., “he worked alongside several committees and with officials in Scituate to develop plans and initiate interest” in creating the new turf complex and track and field facility at the high school’s Caito Field.