Andy Olson Accepts Offer to Lead Tigers as New Burlington-Edison Football Head Coach!

by SkagitRadio.com on Sunday, May 10, 2020

BURLINGTON, WA – With an extraordinary knowledge of football and the ability to teach young men to reach their full potential and beyond that few have (in the classroom, within the community and on the playing field), and that can be traced back to TWO of the greatest high school football coaches in state history, Andrew James (Andy) Olson will be the new head football coach of the Burlington-Edison Tigers – pending approval by the B-E school board.

Olson was the top choice from the five finalists who were interviewed and scrutinized Tuesday by a 13-member team of current and former Burlington-Edison coaches, teachers, administrators and players after all-day marathon via a video conference that was the culmination of countless hours of work by Burlington-Edison Athletic Director Don Beazizo.

“I am excited to have Andy Olson as our new head football coach at Burlington-Edison,” Beazizo told SkagitRadio.com. “He comes from a strong sports background and already has a great rapport established with many of our student athletes. This is a great day for our Tiger Nation,” Beazizo said.

Based upon what we’ve learned about Olson this week at SkagitRadio.com, and with all due respect to Mr. Beazizo the “strong sports background”, he referred to might actually be a bit of an understatement!

Olson started soaking-up football knowledge in elementary school when he was a ball-boy at Lynden High School for young coach Curt Kramme, who took an already strong Lynden football program and built it to an elite level of success unequalled by any team, in any classification, in Washington State high school football history.

“I was beyond blessed to grow-up watching and learning from one of the greatest high school football coaches in our state’s history in Curt Kramme,” Olson told SkagitRadio.com during an exclusive interview. “As a player I began to understand just how hard he worked for his players and how his players always wanted to give their best in return,” Olson added.

Former Burlington-Edison Tigers who played during the 1960s, ‘70’s and ‘80’s for Head Coach Glenn Rickert, who retired with the most win in state history, experienced the exact same thing during their playing days, and the similarity is not a coincidence.

A new generation of fans, parents and players might be unaware of the connection, but it could be seen throughout Kramme’s coaching career in how hard his teams played and how well prepared they were, as Olson is well-aware. “Before coaching the Lions, Coach Kramme, of course, started his football coaching career at Burlington-Edison, where he worked under two all-time greats in Head Coach Glenn Rickert and Defensive Coordinator Don Leach,” Olson stated.

Tigers from that era will also recognize another similarity between Kramme and Rickert. “As an assistant coach under Curt (Kramme) in 2013 and 2014, I witnessed his innate ability to bring out the best in a kid because he understood who were and how they were motivated,” Olson said.

New Tiger coach Olson played four years of high school football for Kramme and the Lions, earning varsity letter awards each year, and was a starting offensive lineman his junior and senior years, experiencing what it was like to play in the middle and both sides of the line, starting at Center, Right Tackle and Left Tackle. Olson downplayed his roll as a player, saying, “I was historically…average.”

In his junior year of 2006, Lynden rolled to a typical (for Kramme’s teams) 13-1 season and were the State 2A Champions. In 2007, the Lions lost to Prosser in the state semi-finals, and the Mustangs went on the defeat Burlington-Edison in the state championship game.

Olson earned Batchelor’s degrees in both Political Science and Criminal Justice from Gonzaga University, graduating in May of 2012 with a G.P.A. of 3.5. While continuing his education at Northwest University, Olson was an assistant coach at Lynden in 2013 and 2014 for Lions’ teams that were the undefeated (14-0) 2013 State 2A Champions and 2014 State 2A Runners-up, finishing 12-2.

He has been an assistant basketball coach at Burlington-Edison High School in 2014-15 and 2017-present. He was an assistant football coach for the Tigers in 2015, and again since 2017.
In 2016 he earned a Master’s in Teaching Degree from Northwest University, where his G.P.A. was just shy of a perfect 4.0, at 3.98.

Olson, age 30, takes over a program that has fallen on hard times in recent years, winning just 11 of 29 games the last three seasons, and coming off one of the worst seasons in school history. Burlington-Edison was 1-8 in 2019, including a 40-3 loss at Sedro-Woolley, the biggest margin of victory ever for the Cubs over the Tigers. B-E was winless at home, giving-up up a school and Kirkby Field record 63 points against North Creek, lost to Lynden 37-6, and Lakewood lambasted the Tigers 44-6 the week prior to B-E’s season ending 20-14 loss vs. Sehome.

Burlington-Edison hasn’t won a state playoff game since 2014, when they defeated Kingston 13-3 before being overpowered by eventual State 2A Champion Sedro-Woolley 34-0 the following week. Prior to 2019’s season-ending loss to Sehome, the Tigers had been outscored in their final games of the year (from 2014-2018) by a combined total of 188-21.

“I cannot wait to get to work,” Olson said. “During my time as an assistant here (in football and boys’ basketball) it became very clear to me that this truly is a special community that cares deeply about the betterment of its students, athletes and school. I am honored to share these values and represent them to the best of my ability every day.”

‘I think there is something magical about football under the lights on Friday nights and I know there is no place that I would rather be than on Kirkby Field. It is hands-down my favorite venue in the Northwest Conference and always has been.”

“I look forward to challenging our football players to not only be their best, but to beat their best, every single day. Our players will actively represent their community by embodying this idea not only on the football field, but also in classrooms, hallways, the weight room, and at their homes. We will honor the rich history and traditions associated with Tiger football by the way we conduct ourselves as representatives of this community,” Olson concluded.

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