Eau Claire, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Roger Steen, who is in his fifth season as an assistant coach with the UW-Eau Claire track and field program, is the recipient of the 2019 Ade & Margaret Olson Coaching Award.
The award will be presented at the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Hall of Fame banquet Friday, October 11. 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."
Steen is a former two-time national shot put champion who set school and national meet records in winning those titles for the Blugolds. He also achieved a second and two thirds in national competition to become a five-time All-American. He has been a part of three national championship teams, one as an athlete and two as a coach. He has coached 13 All-Americans including the current school and national meet shot put record holder in the person of David Kornack who broke both of Steen's records. He also has coached national champions Alex Mess in the shot put and Erica Oawster in the shot put and discus.
Steen currently works at a local group home for adults who need moderate care while also continuing to pursue throwing. Most recently, he qualified for the 2019 USA Track & Field Championships in the shot put after participating in the 2016 Olympic trials. Blugold head coach Chip Schneider said that "Roger is dedicated to helping athletes he coaches reach their highest potential, passing on what he learned as an athlete to those he now coaches." He said that Steen has influenced those he coaches on many levels because he has a "love for the sport as well as a love for UWEC."
Steen, who grew up in Luck, also played football for four years and was second-team All-Conference as a senior. He graduated from UWEC in 2016 with a double major in Business Administration and Kinesiology.
The previous Olson award winners were Becca Bestul, Jodi Risen, Derrick Swanigan, Emily Muller, Greg Peterson and Jeff West.