Millis/Hopedale head coach Dale Olmsted confirmed to ESPNBoston.com this afternoon that he will be taking over as the new head coach at Nichols College.
Olmsted informed the team around noon today that he was leaving his post with the Mohawks’ program to take over for the Bison. He took over the Mohawks' squad in 2005 and quickly turned a dormant program into a small-school powerhouse, which included an appearance in last year's MIAA Division 4 playoffs, and this year's Division 6 South Final. This season, he had arguably the top offensive line prospect in New England, Boston College commit Jon Baker, at his disposal.
Headed into Thanksgiving, the Mohawks were 8-2 on the season. Olmsted is currently 42-47 overall in his eight years at M-H.
Below is the official press release from Nichols College regarding the Olmsted's hire:
DUDLEY, Mass. -– Nichols College Director of Athletics Charlie Robert has announced the hiring of Dale Olmsted as its new head football coach. Olmsted replaces Kevin Loney, who resigned over the weekend.
Olmsted comes to Nichols by way of Millis High School in Millis, Massachusetts, which competes in the Tri-Valley League. Olmsted took over a program that had a total of three wins in three seasons before his arrival, and after going 5-6 and 3-8 following a merger with Hopedale in 2009, has since qualified for the state playoffs in three-consecutive seasons (2011-13) under his guidance.
"We're probably the smallest high school east of I-495," said Olmsted. "I took over a program that wasn't doing very well and had success. We've built it from the ground up, from a school that almost lost football to three-straight playoff berths. Our kids expect to win now, and we're going to do the same thing here. We're going to create leaders at Nichols College. Our student-athletes will work hard, be accountable for their actions, and learn that there are no shortcuts to success. When they buy into these philosophies, the wins will come."
A two-time Metro West and TVL Small Coach of the Year (2011-12), Olmsted was named the Boston Globe Division 4 Coach of the Year in 2011 after coaching Millis to a 10-1 mark, the TVL Small School Division title, and the state playoffs. The following year, the Mohwaks went 8-3 and captured their second-straight TVL Small School Division crown. Following the season, Olmsted was an assistant coach for the South in the 2012 Shriners All-Star Game.
"I am very pleased to have Dale Olmsted on board as the new head football coach," said Robert. "You can hear in his voice his love of teaching and coaching football, but more importantly, you can see his passion for developing student-athletes into well rounded young men and good, caring citizens. He is a great teacher, mentor and role model for the sport and for student-athletes. Dale has proven his coaching ability with taking challenged programs and turning them into championship contenders. I look forward to working with him as we continue to develop our football family and write a new chapter for Bison football."
Olmsted played for legendary high school coach John Lee at Walpole High School, then migrated south to Salem College in West Virginia, where he played safety for former West Virginia and Michigan and current Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez, who was his defensive backs coach, in 1987. He transferred to West Liberty State College the following year after the program at Salem was eliminated.
Following his playing days, Lee contacted Olmsted to gauge his interest in becoming a coach. Olmsted spent the next eight years as a coach at Walpole – two as an offensive and defensive assistant (1992-93), five as the offensive coordinator (1994-98), and one as defensive coordinator (1999). During that span, he helped the Rebels capture three Super Bowls.
Olmsted left Walpole in 2000 to become the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator at Dedham High School (2001-02), where he inherited a two-win program and turned them into an 8-3 team in his final season. Following one-year assistant coaching stints as the offensive and defensive coordinator at Braintree H.S. (2003) and King Philip H.S. (2004), respectively, Olmsted became the head coach at Millis in 2005.
Olmsted served as the head coach at Millis – a program with a great history which had fallen on hard times – from 2005-08. In 2009, Olmsted discovered the school – which features approximately 150 boys in grades 9-12 – had only 18 committed players for the upcoming season. The athletic directors and Millis and nearby Hopedale High School, along with the MIAA, allowed the two schools to merge their programs. Millis/Hopedale went 5-6 in 2009, 3-8 in 2010 before breaking through in 2011. The merger ended prior to the 2013 campaign.
"I attribute our turnaround to the development and implementation of an off-season conditioning program," said Olmsted. "We also reached out to our alumni to help generate some funds for the program, and they helped fund our equipment and weight room."
Olmsted represents the Tri-Valley League as a member of the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association (MSHFCA). He was the New England Patriots 'Coach of the Week' during week three of the 2008 campaign. He resides in Walpole with his wife, Lisa, and children Alex (14), Hayden (12), and Julia (9).
"I passed on an opportunity to coach in the New England Football Conference years ago, but I wasn't going to let this opportunity slip away," said Olmsted, whose 2013 squad is 7-2 heading into their Thanksgiving Day game. "I always tell my kids 'Don't be afraid of success. Embrace it. You only have so many opportunities in life.' I could have played it safe, but this is a great opportunity. I've worked hard to get to where I am and made a lot of great choices. Football has set me up with the core values I try to instill in my players."