EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - Women’s basketball assistant coach Becca Bestul is the first recipient of the Ade & Margaret Olson Coaching Award, UW-Eau Claire Director of Athletics Scott Kilgallon has announced.
The cash award is available to any part-time assistant coach or graduate assistant in the UW-Eau Claire athletics program. 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 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.
Bestul was a four-year player for head coach Tonja Englund from 2000 through 2004. She spent one year as a student assistant while finishing up her degree in biology. After three seasons as a high school assistant coach, Bestul returned to UWEC as Englund’s assistant for four years. Following a one-year hiatus, Bestul is back on the Blugold staff for the 2013-14 season.
Englund said that Bestul “stands far above all other role models” she’s worked with during her years as a teacher and coach. “It is rare to find a young person of such high caliber in terms of her knowledge, passion to teach and maturity.” Bestul has established herself as a specialty coach working with post players. In particular, Englund credited Bestul with helping to develop Callie Halama, Ellen Plendl and Hannah Mesick.
Bestul, who has a master’s degree in environmental biology, is a biology teacher at Eau Claire North High School. She has been an instructor at North since her graduation in 2005. She is married to former Blugold academic all-American football player Mike Bestul.