Courtesy: Todd Goldbeck, Xcel Sports Training
Jeff Olson, Head Coach of the Division 7 Michigan State Champion Ishpeming Hematites will be the guest speaker at the All-Star Banquet on Friday evening, June 28.Coach Olson, his family and his community have been through some of the best and worst that life has to offer, all within a very short amount of time, and they have all been through it together. The loss of classmates and family members, changing Michigan sports legislation and both losing then winning a state championship; the Ishpeming family has grown closer through all of it. Jeff Olson was born and raised in Marquette, where he played football and basketball at Marquette High School for Hall of Fame coaches Mike Mileski and Gordy Leduc. Jeff was named 1st Team All-UP in both sports. Since he was fifteen, he has worked construction during the summer months. Jeff went to Northern Michigan University, where he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management in 1985 and a Teaching certificate in Physical Education in 1987. He has taught in the Ishpeming School District for the past 16 years. Prior to that, he taught 2 years in Sault Ste. Marie, and has also taught in the Marquette and Gwinn school districts. Jeff has been coaching football for the past 31 years. His resume includes 8 years as a JV coach in Marquette, 2 years as a Varsity Assistant in Sault Ste. Marie, and the past 21 years as the Head Coach in Ishpeming. Jeffâ??s record as Ishpeming's Head Football Coach is 144-78. His Hematites have won 3 Conference championships, 8 District championships, were State Runner-up in 2010 and won the Division 7 State Championship in 2012. Throughout his football coaching career Jeff has been named Regional Coach of the Year 8 times, UP Coach of the Year in 1994 and 2003, and the 2012 MHSFCA (Michigan High School Football Coaches Association) and Detroit News Division 7 State Coach of the Year. Jeff states that he was very fortunate to have legendary football coach Buck Nystrom assist him at Ishpeming for 10 seasons. In addition to football he also coaches Track and Field, and was just named the new Head basketball coach in Ishpeming for this upcoming school year. Jeffâ??s football teams have the reputation for playing hard-nosed, smash-mouth football. He emphasizes being very fundamentally sound and not too fancy. His defenses have proven to be very stingy and have been the No. 1 defense in the Mid-Peninsula Conference numerous times. His former running back has the State Record for carries in a game and season. Coach Olson will talk to the players about teamwork, supporting each other through adversity and the family atmosphere that football and athletics provides. All in attendance will understand how everyone in a small U.P. community can come together to achieve greatness, despite the hardships they faced.