The 2013-2014 season is Head Coach Clair Oleen’s 35th season on the sidelines in Hahn Gymnasium, two years as the late George Stephens’ assistant coach (earning KCAC titles in 1980 and 1981) and 12 years as the women’s basketball head coach (winning 208 games, one KCAC title, 10 NAIA play-off appearances and numerous national rankings).
Oleen now enters his 21st season as head coach of the men’s basketball program.
During his time as men’s coach, the Swedes have won 267 games, won three KCAC Tournament Championships, earned several national rankings and qualified for three NAIA National Tournaments. The 2003 team played in the NAIA National Championship game, finishing as national runners-up. That year Oleen was honored as the NAIA Division II Coach of the Year, while the team was honored by then Kansas Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, with a state proclamation on April 10, 2003.
Oleen earned his 450th head coaching win at Bethany in the 2011-2012 as his teams have amassed 475 total wins.
Oleen insists that the reason for all the Bethany wins over the years is the fact that he has been blessed with good players, good people, and good assistant coaches.
As a basketball player, Oleen was a two-year starter and a captain at Barton County Community College before he joined the Swedes at Bethany. In a Swede uniform he earned All-KCAC, All-District 10 of NAIA, and All-Lutheran honors nationally. He was a Bethany co-captain for the 1976-77 KCAC co-champion team, while he also received the Most Valuable Swede award. Following his college playing days, Oleen received numerous AAU basketball awards, including induction into the Kansas Independent Basketball Tournament Hall of Fame.
He received his bachelor’s degree in 1977 from Bethany College and his master’s in physical education from Kansas State University.
Oleen and his wife, Jerrine, have two adult children, Nathan and Andrea.