Section: Sports

Athletics fills out coaching ranks for academic year

Over the summer, the Department of Athletics filled out its coaching staff. Emma Olson became the 16th head coach of the volleyball team in June, and more recently, Emily Miller was named the sixth bench boss of the softball team. Additionally, both the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams added an assistant coach to their staff. 

Olson comes from Washington and Lee University (Va.) where she was the assistant coach for three seasons. Under Olson, the Generals amassed a 66-18 record overall and an Old Dominion Athletic Conference record of 31-3. She also brings tournament experience not only as a coach, but as a player at fellow Division III institution University of Mary Washington (Va.). As a senior, Olson led the Eagles to the 2016 NCAA Quarterfinals and a No. 8 ranking. For her efforts, she collected All-American honors and was named November Athlete of the Month. After graduating, she joined the Eagles coaching staff as an assistant coach before serving as interim head coach for three months in the spring of 2019.

Olson said she is looking forward to bringing her philosophy to the Owls. “Our team has adopted a process-based training approach where we focus on getting 1% better each day,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. She plans to set goals so the team will see their improvement and stay focused on the tasks ahead. “I am excited to get to know our players and help implement training systems that I believe will bring success.”

While Olson’s season starts tomorrow, Miller has the fall and early winter to prepare for the softball season. Miller is returning to Kenyon after a stint as assistant coach during the 2020 season. “I look forward to reconnecting with players and developing relationships with first year student-athletes, alumni and supporters of the program,” Miller said in a press release. She begins her head coaching career today. 

After last year’s impressive season on the Field at Benson Bowl, both lacrosse teams will have a new assistant coach. Patrick Groschan will be on Doug Misarti’s staff, and Tatiana Samuel will join Jess Good’s staff. 

Groschan will complement fellow Assistant Coach and Offensive Coordinator C.J. Hughes as defensive coordinator. Groschan started his collegiate career as a goalie for Division III Eastern University (Pa.), earning all-conference honors in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) in 2014 during his senior year. He also experienced the NCAA tournament, as the Eagles won the MAC three times, including 2014. After various assistant coaching jobs, Groschan was the head boy’s lacrosse coach at Bishop McDevitt High School (Pa.) from 2019 to 2021. He looks forward to being an active member of the Kenyon community. “I chose to come to Kenyon because of the great reputation that the institution has along with the positive trend of the lacrosse program in the NCAC,” Groschan wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I look forward to helping out the team and program in any way possible no matter what position or player,” Groschan said.

Like Groschan, Samuel came to Kenyon because of the community and will work on the defensive side of the ball. She recently served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.), a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school, after playing at Division II University of Montevallo (Ala.). At Kenyon, Samuel is eager to help the team build on last year’s performance in the NCAA tournament. “I’m excited to work with the team on taking our defense to the next level, but also continuing to become the best versions of ourselves off the field,” Samuel wrote in an email to the Collegian.

All the coaches expressed their gratitude to Director of Athletics, Fitness and Recreation Jill McCartney and the Department of Athletics. The athletic staff has welcomed them as part of the team. “Everyone is supportive, competitive, and collaborative,” said Samuel. 

“I’m so happy to be here and be a part of the Kenyon Community.” Olson expressed similar sentiments and added that she is looking forward to the opportunity. “I am excited to grow alongside newer coaches as well as learn from some long-time coaches that have been here for years.”

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