Bemidji State University Director of Athletics Dr. Rick Goeb today announced that Bruce Olson has stepped aside from his responsibilities as BSU’s head women’s ice hockey coach, effective immediately, to pursue other interests. Assistant coaches Jim Ingman and Sis Paulsen will be named interim co-head coaches for the remainder of the 2005-06 season.
“We appreciate the efforts Bruce has made during his four years in Bemidji to develop our program,” Goeb said. “We wish him well with his future endeavors.”
Olson was in his fourth season as head women’s hockey coach at Bemidji State, where he had posted an overall record of 27-80-13. Introduced as the third head coach in the history of the BSU program on Aug. 16, 2002, Olson departs as BSU’s all-time leader in coaching victories (27) and games coached (120).
During Olson’s tenure at Bemidji State, he coached the program’s first All-WCHA pick, Amber Fryklund, who ended her playing days as the lone 100-point scorer (122) in school history. Olson also coached a program which was strong academically, as Côté and Guylaine Haché were each named WCHA Student Athlete of the Year – Haché in 2002 and Côté in 2003. Additionally, Côté became just the second student-athlete in BSU history to be recognized on the College Sports Information Directors of Ameria Academic All-America Team in consecutive seasons, as she was a second-team honoree in both 2003 and 2004.
Olson came to Bemidji State after a highly-successful two-decade career at the high school level in North Dakota and Minnesota. Following a four-year playing career at Minnesota, Duluth from 1975-79, Olson took over the boy’s program at Minot (N.D.) High School. He directed Minot to a pair of North Dakota state runner-up finishes in 1985 and 1987, and was the 1987 North Dakota Coach of the Year.
In 1991, Olson left Minot to take over the varsity boy’s program at Roseau (Minn.) High. During his run at Roseau, Olson earned Minnesota 8AA Coach of the Year honors twice (1995-96 and 1998-99), was named State Coach of the Year in 1998-99 and led Roseau to the 1999 state championship. Olson’s 1999 state championship team was the sixth state champion in Roseau history. His 1999 roster included current BSU junior forward Luke Erickson, a 2005 Pre-Season All-College Hockey America selection, and eventually won state Academic Champion honors.
Ingman is in his fifth season as an assistant with the BSU women’s program and has the longest tenure of any coach, head or assistant, in the history of the program. He came to BSU in 2001 with current St. Cloud State head coach Jason Lesteberg as goaltending coach. Ingman continues to oversee goaltenders and coordinates the program’s recruiting efforts.
Under Ingman’s guidance, Anik Côté ended her career in 2004 as BSU’s all-time leader in goals against average (3.50) and save percentage (.893); current senior Jill Luebke (Neenah, Wis.) is fourth all-time in goals-against average and save percentage; and helped develop 2005 Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Rookie Team netminder Emily Brookshaw (Webster, Wis.).
Ingman also helped Lesteberg found the NCAA Division III women’s program at Wisconsin Stevens Point. Ingman organized the team as a club program in 1998 and helped oversee its elevation to Division III status for the 2000-01 season. The inaugural Stevens Point program went 13-13-1, including a perfect 10-0-0 against other first-year Division III programs, and saw goaltender Diane Sawyer named First-Team All-Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.
Paulsen is in her second season with the Bemidji State program and also serves as BSU’s head women’s softball coach. She joined the BSU coaching staff after a standout playing career at Wisconsin, where she was a four-year letterwinner and three-year captain. Paulsen remains the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s all-time leader in points scored by a defenseman (42-88=130), is third on Wisconsin’s career scoring list and is tied for third all-time for career games played with the Badgers (136). She was named First-Team All-WCHA in 2000 and was a second-team all-conference selection in 2003.
She served as a student assistant coach for Wisconsin in 2003-04 and was co-head coach of the USA Hockey Girls Select 14 Team in the summer of 2004 before joining the Bemidji State staff.
Paulsen currently oversees BSU’s defensive corps and its special teams.
“I am confident in the abilities of Coach Ingman and Coach Paulsen and know they will lead our women’s hockey program with integrity and enthusiasm,” Goeb said. “I take great pride in the accomplishments of the athletics programs at Bemidji State and will continue to promote the important qualities a student-athlete should acquire in order to become a productive citizen. I am certain our women’s hockey program is being led by quality people who will provide excellent leadership.”
Olson will remain under contract with Bemidji State University for the remainder of the academic year. A national search to fill Bemidji State’s head coaching vacancy on a permanent basis will be conducted on a timetable to be announced in spring of 2006.