EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (blugolds.com) - Greg Peterson, who is in his third season as an assistant coach with both the UW-Eau Claire women's soccer and track programs, is the recipient of the Ade & Margaret Olson Coaching Award.
The award will be presented at the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Hall of Fame banquet Friday, September 29. The banquet is open to the public and tickets, which are $25, can be obtained by contacting the UWEC Alumni Office at 715 836-3266 or email@example.com. The awards program will begin at 6:30 p.m. preceded by a social at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 5:30 p.m.
The Ade & Margaret Olson Coaching Award is a $500 cash stipend available to any part-time assistant coach, graduate assistant or community coach in any of the 22 sports in the Blugold sports module. The award honors the memory of two UW-Eau Claire legends who dedicated their teaching to helping students achieve their education goals. Ade Olson was a charter member of the Blugold Hall of Fame in 1973. The criteria for the award named in honor of Olson and his wife Margaret dictate that the recipient demonstrate a deep commitment to the student athletes and embody a passion for lifelong learning and a love of the game.
Peterson was nominated by both soccer coach Sean Yengo and track coach Chip Schneider. A native of Hartland, Wisconsin, Peterson was a four-time All-American as a member of the Blugold track team. In 2015, he was the national runner-up to teammate Brandon Zarnoth in the NCAA indoor heptathlon and the outdoor decathlon. He also finished runner-up to Zarnoth in the conference indoor and outdoor meets that season. Peterson was a member of two NCAA national championship indoor track teams, one as an athlete in 2015 and one as a coach in 2016.
In nominating Peterson, Schneider praised him for helping to build and maintain a dominant decathlon/heptathlon program at UWEC. He said he will also assume duties as the pole vault coach as well in 2018.
Schneider credited Peterson with coaching current school pentathlon record holder Sarah Glidden and guiding current decathlete Dylan Cooper to All-American recognition at last spring's national championships.
Schneider said that being a decathlete coach requires the knowledge of 10 different events which is rare. He said it also requires extra time to teach these events. He said it is not rare to see Peterson as the first coach in the building and the last one to leave at night because of this.
Peterson earned a degree in kinesiology with a coaching emphasis and business minor in 2016 and is currently working on a master's degree in coaching. Yengo said Peterson approached him in the fall of 2015 to see if he could volunteer to help out as part of a coaching class. Yengo said he immediately saw "great potential in his planning and communication along with his message to the team." After the first year, Yengo asked Peterson to come back as an assistant coach for the varsity reserve team. Yengo said he did "a wonderful job with this role and helped keep the reserve players motivated and working hard despite not having the opportunities to play on the varsity team." Yengo has expanded Peterson's role this year as well, giving him more responsibility.
Besides helping with the Blugold soccer and track programs, Peterson works at Gander Mountain.
The previous Olson award winners were Becca Bestul, Jodi Risen, Derrick Swanigan and Emily Muller.