Nov. 22, 2016
Gina Oliver was an incredible midfielder for Ohio State from 2002-2005, helping the Buckeyes to their first NCAA tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003. During her time on the team she was a four-year letterwinner, four-time first-team All-ALC selection and a three-time All-American. She was the 2002 ALC Rookie of the Year and earned ALC Player of the Year honors in 2003, leading Ohio State to its first ALC championship. She currently holds the Ohio State career record for ground balls (236) and caused turnovers (201).
After her time as a Buckeye, Oliver continued her lacrosse career as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team. While on the team she won two Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Cup titles (2009, 2013). Following the 2009 FIL World Cup, she was named to the All-World Team, a recognition awarded to the 12 best players in the world. In 2010, she was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.
Oliver currently serves as the head women’s lacrosse coach at the University of Cincinnati where she will be entering her fifth season in 2017.
Can you recall your favorite memory as a Buckeye?
Wow! There are so many! But I would say top two:
• Beating Maryland, who was nationally ranked and hadn’t been beaten in a while! And I had a pretty good game;
• And beating Duke in the NCAA tournament – our first tournament win! And my brother was in the stands cheering me on!
What does being an Ohio State alumni and former women’s lacrosse team player mean to you?
It means a lot. It’s who I am. We have tradition. We have a culture we set. We built the foundation for what the expectation is here at THE Ohio State University. That means the world to me. I bleed scarlet & gray!
How did being a Buckeye prepare you for what was to come after leaving Ohio State?
Being a Buckeye was my life. Diversity and appreciation. Not every school is given what we were given or lack thereof. You continue your tradition after you graduate.
As an alumnus of the women’s lacrosse team, what advice would you give student athletes today?
Appreciate it all! You have an amazing opportunity to continue tradition set before you. It will not always be perfect, easy, fun or what you’ve always hoped it would be. But, you control it. It is your responsibility to enjoy your years, not the administration or coaches. Appreciate the people, the material things and the journey. It was the best years of my life! 🙂
Is there anyone specific from your team who had a particular impact on you?
My freshmen year it was the senior and junior classes. In particular Patricia (Derwart) Marton and Kimberly (Lowe) McCalla. They accepted me and challenged me. True was one of the best leaders I’ve ever had. She truly cared about me as a person and did anything and everything for anyone. Kimberly was my biggest cheerleader and toughest critic. She challenged me to be the best player every time I stepped on the field because she knew I was capable of it. I owe a lot of my success, leadership qualities and confidence today to these two women.
Are you able to take the lessons you learned as a Buckeye and apply them to your life today?
Yes. As a Buckeye athlete, person and coach!
How did you choose the field that you are currently working in?
I wanted to impact lives as much as my life was impacted by my coaches and teammates. And I couldn’t see my life without sports.
What is your favorite part of being a coach?
Teaching and developing women into better people and players.
Do you have any other hobbies or interests?
I love sports! Everything I do involves or revolves around sports.