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Football: Kennedy's Olson trades one OC for another -- in Georgia

February 4, 2008 |  9:50 pm


For years, the one thing you could count on at La Palma Kennedy was that Mitch Olson was in charge of the football program. That won't be the case any more.

Olson, 47, has been accepted for a coaching position in Watkinsville, Ga., trading one OC for another. He made the move with an eye toward retirement, a well-thought out plan for he and his wife to enjoy their golden years, eventually.

He will coach the Oconee County Warriors, a program that could use the stability that Olson brings to the table. Olson will be the school's fifth football coach since it won a Class title in 1999. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger, a 6-foot-5 junior quarterback, has already committed to Georgia.

Olson has been the head coach at Kennedy for 21 seasons. He compiled a record of 163-85-3, won eight league titles and one section championship, in 2006.

Olson was one of my favorite football coaches. He is also one of the few who ever had any friction with me. In the mid-90s, I don't remember the exact circumstances, but I think he felt I had used one of his comments out of context. So I showed up at a game, and he made that "come here" motion with his finger. He very professionally explained his beef. Then he listened attentively to my side. Never raised his voice. I probably apologized for any miscommunication since that responsibility falls on my shoulders. And that was the end of it.

There was never any grudge, never any animosity, never anything but respect. And he certainly wasn't doing it for appearances, because nothing has ever been made of it -- if it was even mentioned -- over the past 13 years.

In my dealings, that's the way he treated the game and he treated people -- with respect.

OC's gain is Orange County's loss, not just Kennedy's.

-- Martin Henderson