Olson Era Begins For Spokane Shock - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Spokane Shock

Olson Era Begins For Spokane Shock

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Andy Olson was a receiver for the Spokane Shock before becoming the team's offensive coordinator this year (Photo: Spokane Shock / Jonathan Martinez) Andy Olson was a receiver for the Spokane Shock before becoming the team's offensive coordinator this year (Photo: Spokane Shock / Jonathan Martinez)
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  • Olson to be Named New Shock Head Coach

    Olson to be Named New Shock Head Coach

    Sunday, August 28 2011 9:31 PM EDT2011-08-29 01:31:31 GMT
    The Shock will promote Offensive Coordinator Andy Olson to Head Coach. Olson was offered the position late friday night and he immediately accepted.More >>
    The Shock will promote Offensive Coordinator Andy Olson to Head Coach. Olson was offered the position late friday night and he immediately accepted.More >>

The Spokane Shock formally introduced Andy Olson as the team's new head coach at a small news conference Monday morning in Spokane Valley.

Olson, who was working in construction at this time last year, said the chance to become the head coach of the Shock was too good of an opportunity to pass up. The Shock front office agreed.

"I'm very excited to get started," said Olson at the news conference. "I can't wait to get started and get to work.

"I'm very happy, and I could not be in a better place right now. I think this is a great opportunity for me, for the fans and the organization. I plan on doing a very good job in the time that I serve here."

Olson takes over for Rob Keefe who was let go from the team after two seasons for allegedly violating the team's code of conduct.

From the front office's perspective Olson provides the team with an experienced player and coach, but also an example of impeccable character. The 'C' word - character - was seemingly the most important quality in the team's search for a new coach.

"Conduct and character have always been extremely important to the Shock," said general manager Adam Nebeker. "This has not been a new principle, a new philosophy that has come into play recently. We have expected all of our coaches from the beginning to the highest standard of conduct on and off the field, and we expect that Andy will live up to that."

As offensive coordinator for the Shock's last 17 games Olson's offense showed improvement week-over week. From the point he took over for Fred Biletnikoff Jr., the team increased its average points per game by 8.5 and ended the season averaging 58.8 points per game – fifth in the league. He directed on offense that went through numerous different quarterbacks because of injury and still managed to score a season-high 76 points against the Utah Blaze.

"We know that Andy is the right man for the job," said majority owner Brady Nelson. "He is truly one of the brightest offensive minds in the game and we know that he can continue our winning tradition. His intelligence on the field is matched by his integrity and the kind of character our players can stand behind."

Olson beat out several other candidates for the job, including former Shock offensive coordinator Matt Saulk and other, more experienced coaches, according to Nebeker.

"We didn't hire Andy because he was the most convenient," said Nebeker.

As a player for Spokane, Olson was a key player for the Shock's 2008 Conference Championship team and helped the team win the 2009 ArenaCup. In 29 regular season games he had 220 receptions for 2,201 yards and 36 touchdowns.

Olson has decided to retain OL/DL coach Travis Crusenberry, who will return to Spokane for his fourth season as a member of the coaching staff. He will move into the position of defensive coordinator. Olson will add a third coach sometime in the next few weeks.

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