Tuesday, Aug 19 2014 02:02 PM

Thank you, Tehachapi: A letter from Coach Oly

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Coach Chris Olofson

A letter from Coach Oly

I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the community of Tehachapi and the wonderful people who still have ties here and call it home. On May 13, 2014 I suffered a traumatic brain injury during a baseball playoff game at THS. My head injury caused three skull fractures and bleeding on my brain which caused a trip to KMC and a stay in the hospital. By the time I was in stable condition on day two, I was overwhelmed by the prayers, concerns, flowers and cards that flooded in for support. I was fortunate to have my fiance, Nikki , our kids and family by my side in the hospital to help me through my struggles and fears. For most people, this should be enough. However, this was just the beginning, the love and support was everywhere. Very few visitors were allowed in ICU at KMC but many did try. I would like to thank all visitors who made it through and all that attempted as well.

My employer, Tehachapi Unified School District, has been great with giving me the opportunity to heal, with Lisa Gilbert and Scott Heitman supporting me from day one. My co-workers and students of Tehachapi High School flooded me with "get well" cards and wishes. This makes a person really appreciate what it means to be a teacher and coach. Baseball fans, both Warrior supporters and our opponents, sent me "get well" messages and gifts. It makes you realize that life is bigger than just trying to win all the time. I'm proud of our 2014 SEYL Championship baseball team for continuing to push through and my assistant coaches for leading them to the semifinals after my accident.

In closing, my message is a simple one. Tehachapi is a "special community." I am proud to call it my home since the summer of 1979. Thanks to the City of Tehachapi, Warrior Boosters and the Alumni Warriors for their generosity. Thanks to local businesses such as the Schuster's Minute Serve Dairy Shell Station for the encouraging sign for my recovery and Stone Mountain Physical Therapy for helping get me back on my feet again. Thanks to Dr. Young for replacing my ruined beloved sunglasses at no cost. Thanks to the Caudle's for the use of their motor home to provide Nikki with a temporary home in Bakersfield. Lastly, thanks to Mike Duffy and Tom Shea, our local sports writers, for their support and not making my accident a spectacle.

As I sit here today and miss my first day of school in 17 years of teaching, I had time to reflect. Embrace your family, friends and loved ones as well as the community of Tehachapi. Bounce back in life when the unexpected knocks you off your feet. I will continue my therapy at the Bakersfield Center for Neuro Skills and I anticipate returning to the classroom and the sports scene soon. Thank you Tehachapi, I am proud to live here and will always will for grateful for all the encouragement.

Coach Chris Olofson

Tehachapi High School

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