Rich Olson Named ASU's Offensive Coordinator

Dec. 19, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. -

Rich Olson has been named ArizonaStateUniversity's offensive coordinator, head football coach Dennis Erickson announced Tuesday.


Olson joins the Sun Devil coaching staff after spending the 2006 season as the offensive coordinator at the University of Miami (Fla.).  Also, Olson returns to Erickson's staff, where he has been during eight seasons of his career, including stops with the San Francisco 49ers (2004), the Seattle Seahawks (1995-98) and at the University of Miami (Fla.) (1992-94).  Olson returns to coaching in the state of Arizona, where he served as the Arizona Cardinals' offensive coordinator in 2001 and 2002.   

Before his return to Miami in 2006, Olson spent 10 seasons in the NFL. He followed Erickson from Miami to the Seattle Seahawks in 1994, and has also coached with the Washington Redskins (1999-2000), San Francisco 49ers (2004) and Minnesota Vikings (2005).

A 30-year veteran coach in college football and the NFL, Olson has coached some of the top names in college and pro football.  He also has extensive experience as an offensive tutor, having coached quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and offensive linemen in addition to having served as the offensive coordinator at three locations. He was Miami's wide receivers coach in 1992 and was an integral part of Gino Torretta's success when the quarterback won the Heisman Trophy that year. In addition, Olson has coached quarterbacks such as former Sun Devil Jake Plummer, Daunte Culpepper and Warren Moon in the NFL, in addition to star players like Trent Dilfer, Eric Dickerson and Craig James at the college level.


During his three-year tenure (1992-94) as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Miami, Olson helped direct a total of 10 players drafted into the NFL, including five wide receivers.

From 1984-1991, Olson coached under Jim Sweeney at Fresno State, where he tutored first-round draft choice Trent Dilfer, as well as Kevin Sweeney, who finished his college career as the nation's all-time leader in passing yardage (10,808), surpassing the mark previously set by Boston College's Doug Flutie. Additionally, Sweeney won back-to-back conference Co-MVP awards in 1985 and 1986. Also, while coaching the Bulldogs, Olson guided a total of 21 Honorable Mention All-America recipients as well as 1991 Big West Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year, quarterback Mark Barsotti.

Olson coached on Lou Holtz's staff at Arkansas for three years as the Razorbacks' secondary coach, as well as at Southern Methodist under head coach Ron Meyer.

Olson served as an assistant offensive line coach at USC under John Robinson in 1977, and helped develop Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman Anthony Munoz.

Olson began his coaching career at GahrHigh School in Cerritos, Calif. in 1971.

A native of Montebello, Calif., Olson was a quarterback at WashingtonState. He graduated in 1971 with a degree in physical education.

Olson joins fellow assistant coaches Dan Cozzetto, Al Simmons and Grady Stretz as those who have officially been named to Erickson's coaching staff. Erickson was introduced as head coach by Arizona State University Vice President for University Athletics Lisa Love on Dec. 11. 


More hires on Coach Erickson's staff will be announced once they are approved by ASU's Human Resources Department.

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