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Legendary SPASH coach has final season coaching cut short

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(WAOW)- For the last 42 years, the name Mike Olson has been synonymous with SPASH track.

“I’ve had 80 something all-conference runners for cross country and several state champs in track,” said Olson.

But as they say all good things must come to an end.

The 2020 track season was set to be the Olson’s final. However, with the cancellations caused by COVID-19, Olson’s retirement came sooner than he expected.

“Well you know everyone was talking about the poor senior athletes,” said Olson. “I empathize with them, I know exactly what they’re going through.”

“It was hard, “said Nate Olson, Mike’s son and the Head Coach of the Panther’s track team, in regards to his father losing his final year of coaching. “Your last chance at coaching you want to go out, be with the kids having fun. You know finishing our season down at lacrosse for the state championship.”

However, while his final year of coaching track was taken from him, Olson’s coaching career isn’t quite over just yet.

He will still get the chance to ride off into the sunset before it’s all said and done, as he plans to continue coaching the cross country team.

“After every year i’m kinda like Brett Favre at the end of his career,” said Olson. “I’m gonna see how it’s going.”

But when he does decide to call it quits, he will leave behind a legacy that goes far beyond the track.

“He’s always going to be a part of the program,” said Nate.

“He’s touched so many different athletes lives, both on the track and off the track and that’s something that’s really invaluable.”

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