Thomas Elness


Jerry Olszewski (Oh-“SHEH”-ski), 44, became the third and final head football coaching candidate to visit Augustana on Friday.

Olszewski has been the head coach at St. Olaf in the MIAC (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) for the last five seasons, owning a career record of 32-18.  He served as defensive coordinator at Wisconsin-Stevens Point from 2006-2008, his alma mater.  Prior to that, Olszewski was assistant head coach and defensive backs coach at D-II Minnesota State-Mankato for four seasons.  He also coached with the Green Bay Bombers (Indoor Football League) and California Lutheran University.

Self-defined as “a pretty simple guy”, he’s also a family man.

“If [my kids] want to play a board game, we play a board game,” he said.  Olszewski also named Augustana a “wonderful community” and the city of Sioux Falls as a “great place to raise a family”.

Olszewski has experience with a similar school to Augustana.  St. Olaf is also a private liberal arts school of ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) tradition.   St. Olaf has an average ACT score of 29

In his meeting with the press, Olszewski said he has recruiting connections and experience in Minnesota, specifically the Twin Cities area, Wisconsin, and Illinois.  He also expressed his interest in being able to recruit Division-II caliber athletes that may have been harder to reach at St. Olaf.  The transition to scholarships would also be a change from coaching at Division-III.

The selection committee has not expanded on its timeline for hiring a head coach.