Bison Athletics

Where Are They Now: Darrell Olson

Darrell Olson’s stay at North Dakota State was brief, however, he has gone on to make a significant impact on our area’s youth.

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Darrell Olson’s stay at North Dakota State was brief, however, he has gone on to make a significant impact on our area’s youth.

Years: 1988

In Olson’s only season with the Bison football program as a graduate assistant in 1988, NDSU claimed its 7th national championship.


From there, Olson went on to continue making an impact on football players and area youth, spending 41 years in the field of education with multiple stops along the way.

  • West Fargo High School (Head Coach)(1990 East Region Coach of the Year)
  • Pelican Rapids High School (Head Coach)(1991-1997)
  • Maple Grove High School (Assistant Coach)(1997-2018)
  • Concordia College (Wide Receivers Coach)(2018-Present)

Currently, Olson is the Wide Receiver coach at Concordia College where he helped in the program’s transition from the triple-option offense to the spread in 2021.

During that time, the Cobbers went from passing for 664 yards in the entire 2019 season to passing for over 240 yards per game in 2021.

Away from the gridiron, Olson is a true family man and is married to his wife Kris who he met at North Dakota State. Both of his sons, Erik and Peder, went on to play football at NDSU.

Did You Know?

Darrell Olson writes the Friday Sports Wrap, a charming and interesting blog that combines sports facts, stories, quotes, and Darrell Olson’s own stream of consciousness into a bite-sized weekly serving. To read, visit

What are you currently doing?

Counting my blessings, coaching football, officiating high school basketball and enjoying summers at the lake.

What are some valuable things you’ve learned along the way?

Your gut never lies, success is often disguised as hard work, and men need fellowship.

What gives you purpose?

Creating a lifetime of memories for my family.

What are some of the highlights? What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Raising two grounded young men alongside my wife and watching them compete at the highest level of football. Between the three of us, we have seven National Championship rings. I’m also very proud of helping to rebuild two football teams that each won state titles after I left and officiating in 13 state basketball tournaments over five decades. I consider myself blessed. I have coached the greatest team game in the world for over 40 years.

How do you think your time in Bison Athletics prepared you for this?

As a Bison coach, I saw firsthand that success doesn’t happen by accident. Also, being a Graduate Assistant was one of the most humbling, exhausting things I have ever done. I laughed, cried and realized that the struggle is the way. I have never regretted it. I met my wife during that time and way out kicked my coverage.

Do you have any advice for any current athletes out there looking to take the next step in life?

Surround yourself with friends that align with your value system. Life isn’t fair, get over it.

Where Are They Now: Darrell Olson
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