DSU alumnus Jayden Olson working 'behind the scenes' at Colorado State
Colorado State vs. Murray State
TV: CBS, 10:15 a.m. Thursday
Jayden Olson is the man behind Tim Miles at Colorado State.
Olson, a 32-year-old Beulah native and a Dickinson State University graduate, is in his second season on Miles' coaching staff at Colorado State and in his first year as the team's director of basketball operations.
He deals with academics, boosters, organizations, scouting reports, travel plans and other various issues for the Rams (20-11), who earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and begin play at 10:15 a.m. Thursday against No. 12-ranked Murray State (30-1).
"You name it, I'm responsible for that," Olson said. "I do all behind-the-scenes stuff is an accurate way to put it."
Though Olson called the past week a "whirlwind," his experience hasn't been completely perfect.
He wasn't allowed to travel Tuesday on the Rams' charter flight to Louisville, Ky., site of the West Regional game.
Those were his doctor's orders.
A bout with the flu forced him to fly commercial instead.
But he got there and now he's ready to help the Rams make some noise in the tournament.
While Olson can't directly coach or recruit players, he is on the team bench during games. NCAA rules state that if Olson wants to share his insight on a game, he must do so through another coach.
Still, it's a step up from last year, however, when he was the team's video coordinator.
"It's given me an opportunity to sit back, watch other people coach and learn from players and really take a lot of notes," Olson said. "You really become a student of the game and at this point, I'm kind of a student of the profession."
Olson has been coaching since he was still at DSU, where athletic director Tim Daniel said the career "was in Jayden's blood."
"Jayden's attention to detail is fabulous," said Daniel, who coached Olson for two seasons. "Jayden's got unbelievable organization skills, but he puts a great attention to all details. Nothing slips through the cracks with Jayden."
After DSU, Olson had assistant coach gigs at Williston State College, where he played his first two seasons of college basketball, and the University of North Dakota. He even had a stint as an assistant at New England High School while he was still in college.
He then made his way to Augustana in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he was the assistant for three years under Tom Billeter.
In 2010, Olson received an interview for the vacant Minot State head men's basketball coach job that went to Pete Stewart.
"Jayden is a guy, I think, working his way around, trying to gravitate to what the best situation for him is," Daniel said.
Olson said gaining experience under Miles, who coached North Dakota State for six seasons and is in his fifth year at Colorado State, was the kind of opportunity he dreamed about.
His father, Doug Olson, coached at Beulah for several years, and Jayden Olson said he met Miles before he was a teenager.
"Coach Miles was always a guy I wanted to work for at some point and I'm fortunate enough to get that opportunity," Olson said. "He's a winner. He does all the little things right to win. He's a program builder. More importantly, he's a great guy to work for and a family man."
As for Olson, a family can wait.
"I'm still married to basketball," he said with a laugh.