Weather Forecast


Bison hire Nebraska’s Olson as assistant

FARGO — Tim Miles continues to give back to the North Dakota State men’s basketball program. This time, one of his coaches at the University of Nebraska is moving north.

New NDSU head coach Dave Richman hired Jayden Olson as an assistant coach in a move that has familiarity written all over it. Richman has known Olson for years, and the move announced Tuesday brings him back to his home state.

Richman also said he has retained Bison assistants Freddy Coleman and Josh Vaughan in their same roles, the latter as director of basketball operations. Richman, Olson, Coleman and Vaughan all have a connection to Miles in one way or another.

“The continuity of keeping Freddy and Josh was vital to this transition,” Richman said. “They are two guys that know and understand the program and myself.”

Olson held the operations job at Nebraska, a position that is more administrative than coaching. He’s getting the chance to get back to teaching and recruiting as the top assistant at NDSU, a school where Miles was once the head coach.

“He loves having people who have worked under him work at North Dakota State,” Olson said, “particularly the people he thinks can help continue the tradition of success.”

Olson is no stranger to winning, starting in high school in Beulah, N.D., where, playing for his father Doug Olson, the Miners qualified for the North Dakota Class B tournament three straight years. He was a team captain at Williston State College, leading the Tetons to the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament title game.

He transferred to Dickinson State where he was, again, a team captain. The Blue Hawks set a team record with 28 victories one season.

He spent two years as a graduate assistant at the University of North Dakota. His full-time breakthrough came at Augustana College under former Bison head coach Tom Billeter. The Vikings were 67-26 in Olson’s three years in Sioux Falls, S.D.

That’s when Miles came back into the picture by hiring Olson, who first met Miles in the early 1990s. With NDSU, he’ll have a hand in all aspects of the program.

“He’ll be a little bit like myself,” Richman said. “He’s not going to be soaking wet in any one thing but will be dripping wet in everything.”

Richman still has one assistant to hire to complete his staff. He was named the NDSU head coach last week replacing Saul Phillips, who took the head coaching position at Ohio University.

“I think the biggest thing is we have to be ourselves, and that’s what I’m going to do,” Olson said. “I’m going to be Jayden Olson, and he’s going to be Dave Richman, and we’re going to work hard for North Dakota State, for our players and try to put people in the right positions to be successful.”

Jeff Kolpack
Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.