Karen Olander, Massachusetts – 2002
Karen has been a teacher of health and physical education for the Dennis-Yarmouth School district since 1973. During that time she has coached three girls’ sports: track (1981-1984), gymnastics (1973-1980), and field hockey (1973-1987). Karen has also served as a volunteer varsity coach at Barnstable High School from 1997-1999. She has been a field hockey official for 26 years and has officiated at the college level for the past 10 seasons. She holds a local rating (1976-1992) and a sectional rating (1992 to the present).
Her league affiliations include: the Massachusetts South Sectional Field Hockey Association, the Massachusetts State Field Hockey Coaches Association, the Boston Field Hockey Umpires Association since 1976, the area coordinator for Cape Cod and Islands Field Hockey Umpires since 1988, and the Massachusetts College Field Hockey Umpires Association since 1991.
Karen’s coaching career at Dennis-Yarmouth has been exemplary: varsity field hockey 136-22-9 and nine titles, gymnastics 52-13, and girls’ track 27-2. At Barnstable High School her junior varsity field hockey team was 15-1-3.
As an advocate for women’s sport, she wrote a proposal and successfully negotiated with the MIAA for a pay increase for field hockey officials.
Her teams have been successful in championship and post-season competitions. Her D-Y field hockey teams were 1987 Division I State Champions, State Finalists 3 times, South Sectional Champions 4 times and runners-up 2 times, League Champions 5 times, League runners-up 5 times, and qualified for the MIAA tournament every year.
Her gymnastics teams have participated in the State meet 2 times, district meets 4 times, League Champions 2 times, and League runners-up 2 times. Her track teams have 2 League titles and were runners-up 2 times.
Karen has received the Unsung Hero Award at the Massachusetts Celebration of National Girls and Women in Sport Day, was named the Division I Field Hockey Coach of the Year by the Boston Globe in 1981 and 1987, and the Cape Cod Times coach of the Year in 1983, 1985, and 1987. IN 1985 and 1987, she was named the Kiwanis Club Coach of the Year. She was the Channel 58 Coach of the Year in 1984 and 1987.