Drew Olinger

Moving to Lake City and getting a teaching position in the spring, Drew Olinger knew he wanted to somehow or some way be involved in the community. That chance arose with the vacancy for the girls’ basketball job.

Lake City announced Friday on Twitter the hiring of Olinger as girls’ basketball head coach. A year removed from coaching basketball to be with his two kids and wife, who also teaches in Lake City, Olinger said things seem to be fitting into place. It has added a high level of excitement.

“Sometimes situations have a way of working themselves out,” Olinger said. “I got my teaching job not knowing what opportunities would come up. I’m really excited about the timing of everything.”

He replaces Clay Olstad who held the position for five seasons. Olstad stepped down in July to take a job at Rushford-Peterson.

Athletic director Trevor Narum said the hiring of Olinger just made sense for the program.

“With coach Olstad moving on, it worked out really well. (Olinger is) a great coach, he's got great experience,” Narum said. “I think it's a really good thing for our girls' basketball program. It’s a great fit and we’re super excited to have him.”

Olinger was the head coach of the Red Wing boys’ basketball team from 2016-2017 to 2019-2020. He coached several other Red Wing sports including girls’ and boys’ tennis as well as boys’ golf.

He takes over a Lake City team in really good shape and one that he has had some experience with. Olinger was an assistant coach for the girls’ team in the 2014-2015 season and head coach in 2015-2016.

Olinger was a sixth grade coach in Lake City when most on the roster were on his team. He believes they’re all capable of leading the Tigers to another successful season.

“They have a pretty good idea of the speed they can play at to be successful. Any of them can be the best player on the court,” he said.

Returning players Lilly Meincke, Natalie Bremer and Mya Shones led the Tigers to the state tournament for the first time since 1984. The team finished last season 19-4 overall, with its season ending against New London-Spicer in the first round.

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