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NC State closes out non-conference slate with a gut-check victory
Hans Olsen is no stranger to success and the work that is involved in developing a top-notch program. Olsen joined the Wolfpack family on November 1, 2001, becoming the eighth head coach in NC State women's tennis history.
In his 12 seasons at NC State, Olsen has renewed the winning spirit of the Wolfpack and developed a family atmosphere that creates a home away from home for his team. Throughout his tenure, Olsen's squads have been ranked nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on several different occasions, as well as multiple players in individual singles and doubles.
During his 12th season in 2012-13, the Wolfpack recorded the best start to a season in program history with a 9-0 record. The squad went on to win 14 total matches and was selected to the NCAA Championship for the second time in three years, and for the fifth time under his tutelage.
Olsen has also demonstrated his ability to coach some of the nation's top players, as junior Joelle Kissell became the third player in program history to earn All-ACC honors twice in her career. Kissell also became just the second player in NC State history to reach the NCAA Singles Championship in back-to-back seasons.
In his 11th season, Olsen produced the program's third All-ACC selection in as many years in sophomore Joelle Kissell, while Kissell also became the second player in program history to reach the second round of the NCAA Singles Championship. Kissell finished the season as the 32nd ranked player in all of NCAA Division I women's tennis.
The 2011 season saw Olsen take NC State women's tennis to new heights when the team finished the season ranked 25th in the nation, while compiled a 16-9 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships. The NCAA berth was the sixth overall in program history, and the fourth in six years under Olsen. Senior Sanaa Bhambri also became the program's second-ever player to earn a bid to the NCAA Singles Championship, and the first since Kylie Hunt in 1995.
Olsen has embodied Wolfpack tennis. With his team's 7-0 win over Virginia Tech on March 25, 2007, Olsen became NC State's winningest women's tennis coach with his 60th win.
In addition, Olsen is the first coach to take his team to multiple NCAA Championships, the first coach to win a NCAA match and the first coach to have a tandem selected to the NCAA Doubles Championships.
Olsen's tenure has showcased a consistent and steady product on and off the courts.
The Pack finished the 2008 season ranked No. 36 in the nation, and made a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Multiple players were ranked throughout the season, and NC State consistently remained in the team rankings. To close out the regular season, the Wolfpack defeated No. 19 Florida State for the team's eighth win over a ranked opponent, the most wins by NC State in a season over ranked opponents.
The Wolfpack advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season in 2007 after posting 13 wins, including six over ranked teams. One of those six teams was a historic win over No. 18 Duke, the highest-ranked opponent that NC State has ever defeated. The Wolfpack was ranked from start-to-finish in 2007, soaring as high as No. 32 before finishing the season with a No. 41 national ranking.
The team won a school-record 17 matches in 2006 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history. Perhaps most impressive was when the team picked up its first NCAA win ever with a 4-3 triumph over No. 24 William & Mary and defeated eight ranked teams throughout the year.
Olsen has had a trio of All-ACC selections under his tutelage, with Barbara Orlay (2004), Shona Lee (2006) and Daria Petrovic (2007) being selected as an All-ACC team member for their performance during the season.
"I truly enjoy working with athletes who have a sincere interest in reaching their potential both on and off the court," said Olsen. "Team building is one the cornerstones of the women's tennis program at NC State. NC State provides the ideal environment for each student-athlete to develop their character and confidence."
Olsen came to NC State after developing a Charleston Southern University tennis dynasty in the Big South. His men's and women's teams consistently appeared in the Big South Conference finals during the five years he was a head coach with the Buccaneers. Olsen's teams once claimed four consecutive team championships. In his first year at the helm, his team posted only two losses before mounting a 36-match win streak in the conference and a 29-match home win streak versus all opponents over the next four years. In all, he coached 31 All-Big South performers. Olsen departed as the winningest coach in Charleston Southern history with a combined record of 133-92 (.591). His efforts were noted by the Big South Conference, as he was named a four-time Coach of the Year during his young career.
Olsen brought valuable NCAA experience to the head coaching position at NC State. His squads reached the NCAA tournament in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Prior to the Olsen era, no team in CSU history had been nationally ranked. In his third year, the team stepped into the national spotlight making its debut at No. 70.
Olsen is also active off of the court. He is the co-author of "The Mental Game," a video dealing with training in imagery, relaxation techniques, concentration and goal-setting. The video emphasizes the mental skills necessary in a training program for athletes. In the video, Olsen teams with sports psychologist Anne Ferris to discuss exercises and concepts that create the complete mental game for athletes. In the summer of 2002, Olsen was certified through the USTA's "High Performance Coaching Program." The program is designed for coaches of professional touring tennis players.
"I believe that the mental game is what makes technically sound athletes reach their competitive potential," said Olsen. "It gives them an edge over their opponents because they are able to focus in important situations."
Olsen and his wife, Amy, currently reside in downtown Raleigh with their sons Anders and Aksel and daughter Annika. Amy is the head coach of the women's cross country team at Meredith College in Raleigh.