Bill OlexaAthlete of the Year 2013 - Softball
Bill Olexa, a North Delta resident has been the coach of the Delta Heat ’96 for the last four years with his teams competing in the Lower Mainland Girls Fastball League. As the Head Coach, Bill has developed a winning program and has had unbelievable success in the last two years.
To say his teams have been successful would be an understatement. Not only did his 2011 team win the Bantam “A” Provincial Championship as first year Bantams, but in 2012 his team had a truly unforgettable season. The team had a 20-1-1 record to win their league and went undefeated at the Provincial championships with 55 runs for and 1 run against. They capped off their dream season by winning the U16 National Championships in Brantford, Ontario scoring 86 runs and only allowing 10.
For Bill, the 2012 season was filled with incredible highs and lows. In playing 105 games, Bill’s team won every BC tournament they entered and placed in the top three in Under 18 tournaments in the U.S. The low point of the season was when two key players sustained severe knee injuries and were not available for the remainder of the season. Despite this set back Bill was able to motivate his team and make adjustments to ensure the Delta Heat’s success. Bill says his proudest moments of the 2012 season were when his players volunteered with the Delta Special Olympics and when they wore pink uniforms at a tournament in support of Breast Cancer awareness.
When asked why he coaches, Bill responded, “I enjoyed playing sports and wanted to give back.” Bill is humble about his coaching success and says he has been blessed with a fantastic group of athletes. His coaching style is one of firm but fair. Bill coaches with two beliefs, “praise in public and criticize in private” and “when a player makes a mistake it is time to coach and not criticize ”. He is known to be a knowledgeable and meticulous coach but when he is uncertain about a concept or strategy, he researches until he has the necessary knowledge and skills. Bill is very well respected by coaches and players alike. One of his strengths as a coach is ability to motivate his players. Bill believes it is important to go to the park to have fun and is well known with his team for his practical jokes. It is evident Bill ’s coaching style has been effective when one looks at the Delta Heat ’96 successes over the last two years.