September 23, 2013

Bestul Named Recipient of Ade & Margaret Olson Coaching Award

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.

-TP-