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Olmstead leaves behind many FHS soccer admirers

In addition to family and friends, Tom Olmstead left behind a number of admirers on the Farragut High School girls soccer team.

Olmstead, assistant coach with the FHS Lady Admirals, died Saturday, Jan. 15, of “natural causes” during a bicycle ride along Dutchtown Road, said Knox County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Martha Dooley. He was 59.

Three FHS girls soccer players shared kind words and recalled fond memories of Olmstead’s team interaction.

“He loved us girls … and he was so supportive,” said Taryn Marashi, junior midfielder. “And that’s how he was outside of the game.”

Marashi added that Olmstead was a model of conscientiousness one afternoon when she was left without transportation on a rainy day. “He stayed after school for about an hour with me, in the rain, so I was safe, until I could get home,” she said. “He was a really sweet man and a Christian man.”

Sara Ham, senior midfielder, said Olmstead knew how to motivate the girls. “Like, he’d tell us, ‘run as hard as you can and you’ll beat Bearden,’ and we took that to heart,” she said. “He was a very good motivator. ... Very positive about things.

“He was always there for us when we needed to talk about anything, on or off the field,” Ham added. “He’d listen anytime you needed to talk. He was a great guy.”

Linda Genung, senior goalkeeper, said Olmstead “was very understanding and kind. He was always focused on the individual.”

As for the lighter side, “I remember he made all the drills fun,” Genung added.

FHS girls soccer head coach Dennis Lindsay said Olmstead, a TVA engineer, had worked alongside him as a coach since the late 1990s.

“He was a very good friend and will be greatly missed,” Lindsay said. “He led with quiet dignity and was held in high regard by players and coaches alike. Everyone that knew him had respect for him. He never got angry. He was quiet, but you could talk to him. He never had anything negative to say, he was always positive.

“As far as soccer goes, he was very knowledgeable.”

Olmstead also coached several FHS girls players with the Farragut TNT club soccer team.

“Just a very nice gentleman,” FHS athletic director Mike Carroll said. “He was just a real asset for Dennis, I know Dennis is really going to miss him.”

Among immediate family members, Olmstead is survived by his wife, Donna; son, Jonathan; and daughter, Emily.

Dooley said Olmstead would have turned 60 Tuesday, Jan. 18.


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