Written by Chelsie Park
Previously junior varsity water polo coach and assistant varsity coach, Peter Olsen is starting his first year as the head coach for boys’ varsity water polo.
Swimming has been an important aspect of Olsen’s life since his childhood, and water polo added a more interesting and strategic element to just swimming laps. “I swam all my life; I was in a pool when I was probably three years old, swimming,” he said. “But I started water polo when I was 12, so I started playing before I was in high school. I got bored of swimming because, going back and forth, you can only do so many times.”
With swimming and water polo both integral parts of his life, Olsen started coaching right after college. “I went and played at St. Francis High Schoo. I played division one at Loyola Marymount [University] in Los Angeles for four years and came back and started coaching right away,” Olsen said. “I coached the junior varsity team here at Gunn and assisted varsity for the last two years.”
One of the reasons Olsen wanted to take over the position of head coach was because of the team atmosphere at Gunn. “We have a great group of seniors who provide a lot of leadership and have a lot of experience,” he said. “We have some sophomores who’ll be contributing right away, and who’ve been working hard all off season and everything, [so] I’m definitely looking forward to a good season with those guys.” In terms of future goals for the team, Olsen is planning on maintaining their winning streak. “I think it’s realistic to say that our main goal is winning league,” he said. “Our water polo team at this point has built a culture of success. We have won our league for the last five years, so going for the sixth consecutive year of winning our league [would] be a pretty big accomplishment with these guys.”