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Volleyball Head Coach Erik Olson resigns after two-month investigation

Gregory Cornwell | Staff Photographer Head coach Erik Olson talks to the team during a timeout Thursday evening at McGuirk Arena. The Chippewas lost 3-0 against Eastern Michigan.

After two months of being investigated for unprofessional behavior toward athletes, Central Michigan Head Volleyball Coach Erik Olson has resigned.

The CMU Athletics Department announced Tuesday that Olson’s resignation will be effective on Dec. 31. Olson has been on a paid leave of absence since Oct. 6.

“We’re in the process now of finding a new volleyball coach in light of Coach Olson’s voluntary resignation,” said Athletics Director Dave Heeke.

Heeke said he has not been in direct contact with Olson during the investigation.

Heeke said Assistant Head Coach Theresa Beeckman, who took over in Olson’s absence, will also not return next year. Her contract expires Dec. 31 and will not be renewed, Heeke said.

“Any time you have a coaching change, those positions are aligned and we need to provide the new head coach the opportunity to come in and assemble a staff,” Heeke said. “That lead position we need to keep open for that new person.”

Assistant Coach Adam Rollman will lead the program in day-to-day activities while the administration looks for a new head coach.

Central Michigan Life received Olson’s personnel file through a Freedom of Information Act request. Included was a letter from Heeke to Olson on Sept. 23 that said a complaint had been received by the department. 

“There were some things that were brought to our attention that indicated that we should look into and that’s when the investigation initiated,” Heeke said Tuesday.

In addition, at least six players have left the program prior to graduation in the past few seasons. Three members from the 2014 roster — setter Kylie Copple, defensive specialist Nicole Czehowski and libero Kristen Reenders — are no longer with the team. Copple now plays at Portland State.

In addition, former outside hitter Melissa Fuchs now plays at Houston Baptist and former setter Jordan Timmer competes at George Washington. Former defensive specialist Andrea Gothard is a student at Michigan State.

Olson signed a contract in 2012 that was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2016.

Olson compiled a 161-183 record in 12 seasons as the Chippewas’ coach. He was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year in 2008 and guided CMU to a MAC Tournament Championship in 2011. He was hired in 2004 after serving three seasons as an assistant at Miami (Florida).

Beeckman, Rollman and graduate assistant Kelly Maxwell coached the team collectively after Olson was placed on paid leave. CMU went 5-7 under the trio’s leadership and missed the MAC Tournament for a third consecutive year after losing to Toledo and Eastern Michigan on the final weekend of the season and falling to ninth in the MAC standings. 

“I think our future is very bright,” Heeke said. “There’s a tremendous foundation of good recruits, student-athletes here. We need the right leader to bring it all together in a program that I think should be one of the better programs in this conference, be very competitive, be in the MAC Tournament every year, those are important pieces.”


About Evan Sasiela

Evan Sasiela is the University Editor at Central Michigan Life and a senior at Central Michigan ...

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About Taylor DesOrmeau

Taylor DesOrmeau is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in integrative public relations ...

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