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Former Athletic Director's Memorial Service Held in SWR Gym

01.29.2024 | By: Texas Wesleyan University

Ed Olson is fondly remembered on the Texas Wesleyan University campus by all those who knew him.  Alumni speak of how he "changed their lives." Ed passed away in January of 2024 and a Celebration of Life was held on January 21 in the Sid W. Richardson Gym on campus.  In lieu of flowers, family members asked that donations be made to the Catherine Wakefield Fund at Texas Wesleyan. If you would like to participate in this memorial, please click here.  There is a drop-down under "Designation."  Please choose "Catherine Wakefield Scholarship Fund."

Ed's obituary can be seen below:

"Edward “Doc” Olson was born on September 8, 1937 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Roy and Bertha Olson.  He lived most of his childhood in Lake Forest, Illinois, where he became a loyal Cubs fan and created several life-long friendships. He attended college at Arizona State University where he played both basketball and baseball.  After returning to Chicagoland to get his master’s degree at Northwestern, he went on to The Ohio State University. There he taught, obtained his doctorate, and also met his wife of 60 years, Frances Smith. 

“Eddie and Frannie” moved to Ft. Worth in 1967 when he joined Texas Wesleyan College (now Texas Wesleyan University) as head of the Physical Education and Athletics departments. He spearheaded the formation of the first intercollegiate women’s athletic programs at a four-year co-ed institution in North Texas. He also contributed a great deal to the construction of the Sid Richardson Center that still serves as the university’s primary gymnasium. Ed coached the women’s basketball and volleyball teams for a few seasons, and the men’s and women’s tennis programs for much of his 35 years at the institution. He loved his teams and remained close with many of his former players until his death. Known for his speed, he loved challenging his players to races. Ed also formed close and long-lasting relationships with many co-workers and fellow coaches.

“Pops” was a dedicated and loving parent to Rush and Missi and never missed attending one of their sporting events or music concerts. His remarkable record of attendance continued for his granddaughters.  

He loved playing tennis for many years for both the competition and the friendships and in retirement organized many golf outings for the same group. 

He will always be known for his quick wit and focus on sportsmanship in competition. 

He is survived by his wife Frances, son Rush, daughter Missi, son-in-law Alex, and granddaughters Mia and Eva."

Be sure and read the article, "Sports Rush: Longtime Wesleyan AD Coached More Than Sports" found here.


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At Texas Wesleyan, we have a rich history and a Texas-sized reputation. As stewards of the University, it is our responsibility to build a future as bright as our past.