By David Parker @GG_Parker
Olivet’s athletic department has experienced a number of changes in its coaching staff.
“We usually turn over four, sometimes five [coaches],” athletic director Gary Newsome said.
However, this year there are eleven, including two new head coaches — Lauren Stamatis, women’s basketball, and David Blahnik, men’s soccer — and nine new grad assistants.
Newsome is pleased with the new developments.
“We’re fortunate to get [eleven] really good people,” Newsome said. “Not only are they good coaches in their field, but apart from coaching, one of the things we look for is Christian character. We’ve found that in all of them.”
Newsome also noted the importance of both new and seasoned grad assistants in the athletic department.
“The GAs are the lifeblood of our athletic department,” Newsome said. “Out of the 21 teams that we have, only two have full-time assistants. That’s why GAs are so important to us.”
Among the new coaches and GAs, all but three previously attended Olivet or coached at Olivet in some capacity. Returning Olivet graduates include Jordan Reynolds ’12, who was a three-time NAIA All-American softball player, and Josh Ayers ‘10, who previously played professional soccer in Ecuador.
Stamatis, who previously worked with the team for five years as an assistant coach, is happy that this is the case.
“I think it’s so great that there are so many coaches that were previously a part of ONU athletics because they know the culture of excellence within the athletic department,” Stamatis said.