Greg Olson

Offensive Coordinator, Jacksonville Jaguars

Greg Olson, who has 28 years of coaching experience, was named offensive coordinator on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.  Olson was assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach for the Jaguars during the 2012 season.  His coaching experience includes 13 years in the NFL and 15 at the collegiate level.  His resume includes eight seasons as an offensive coordinator in the NFL with Detroit (2005), St. Louis (2006-07), Tampa Bay (2009-11) and Oakland (2013-14).

Olson spent the last two seasons with Oakland as offensive coordinator where he tutored three young quarterbacks in Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin and 2014 first-round draft pick Derek Carr. Olson played a key role in the development of Carr, who threw for 3,270 yards and 21 touchdowns, tops among rookie quarterbacks.  His 21 touchdown passes ranked 15th overall in the NFL.  The Raiders allowed only 28 sacks, the sixth-fewest in the NFL. The Raiders ranked 12th in the NFL in rushing (125.0) in 2013, sixth in yards per rush (4.6) and third with 18 rushes of 20-plus yards.  The Raiders became the first team since 1978 to have four different players record a 100-yard rushing game in the same season. Pryor set the single-season franchise record for a quarterback with 576 rushing yards and ranked second among NFL quarterbacks. 

Prior to joining the Jaguars, Olson served four seasons with the Buccaneers including the last three as offensive coordinator.  He spent the 2008 season as quarterbacks coach.  Olson was responsible for the development of quarterback Josh Freeman, the 17th overall pick in the 2009 draft.  Under Olson’s guidance Freeman threw for 8,898 yards and 51 touchdowns in his first three seasons as a starter.  In 2011 Freeman ranked eighth in the NFL with a 62.8 completion percentage and 13th with 3,592 passing yards. 

In Olson’s second season as offensive coordinator in 2010, Freeman ranked sixth in the NFL with a 95.9 passer rating while throwing for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions, placing him ninth for touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL single-season history. Olson helped guide the Buccaneers to one of their best offensive seasons in team history, setting franchise records for yards per play (5.61), average per rush (4.64 yards), average per pass play (7.21), passer rating (96.2) and fewest interceptions thrown (six). The Buccaneers also finished with the fourth-most points scored (341), third-most yards in total offense (5,362) and second-best third down percentage (42.2%) in a single season in team history.

The Buccaneers were the youngest team in the NFL in 2010 and wide receiver Mike Williams, a fourth-round draft pick, finished the year leading all rookie receivers in the league in every major receiving category while setting a single-season team record with 11 touchdown receptions. Running back LeGarrette Blount’s 1,007 rushing yards led all rookie running backs and he became just the second undrafted rookie running back in NFL history to finish with over 1,000 yards. It marked the first time since 1968 that a team had two different players lead all rookies in rushing and receiving yards.

Despite his late elevation to the coordinator position in 2009, Olson’s offense showed consistent growth around Freeman. The offense recorded three games of 400-plus yards of total offense, including 469 yards at Carolina for the fifth-best single-game performance in team history and the most by the team in over 20 years. Working closely with Olson, Freeman led all rookie quarterbacks in completion percentage (54.5) while setting Buccaneer rookie records for touchdown passes (10) and passing yards (1,855) despite starting in just nine games.

In his first season in Tampa Bay in 2008, Olson was part of an offense that ranked 14th in the NFL and ninth in the NFC in total offense. In addition, the Buccaneers featured the 11th-ranked passing offense in the NFL as Tampa Bay signal callers passed for 3,788 yards. The Buccaneers offense finished the season amassing 5,456 total yards, the highest total in team history, while scoring 361 points, the second-highest total in team annals. Under Olson’s tutelage, Jeff Garcia tied for second in the NFL for fewest interceptions (six), was ninth in the league and third in the NFC in completion percentage (64.9) and ninth in the NFL and fifth in the NFC in quarterback rating (90.2).

Prior to joining Tampa Bay, Olson spent two seasons (2006-07) as offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams. In his first year with the Rams in 2006 he helped guide a high-powered offense that ranked sixth in the NFL in total offense (360.4 yards per game) and a passing offense that ranked third (247.6) in the NFC.

Under Olson’s direction, the 2006 Rams became just the fourth team in NFL history to produce a 4,000-yard passer (Marc Bulger), a 1,500-yard rusher (Steven Jackson) and two 1,000-yard receivers (Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce). Bulger, Jackson and Holt were all selected to the Pro Bowl. Bulger also posted career-highs in passing yards (4,301), passing touchdowns (24) and passing attempts (588) and completions (370) while ranking second in the NFL in interception percentage (1.4%). Jackson also had a career-year in 2006, leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 2,334, and he led all NFL running backs with 90 receptions and was fifth in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,528.

Prior to his time with the Rams, Olson spent one season as quarterbacks coach (2004) and one season as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (2005) for the Detroit Lions. In 2004 Olson took over play-calling duties for the Lions with three games remaining in the season and the Lions offense went on to average 403.6 total yards per game. In 2005 Olson was named offensive coordinator of the Lions in Week 11.

Olson entered the NFL as quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers in 2001 under head coach Steve Mariucci. In 2001 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia threw for a career-high 32 touchdown passes while posting a career-best 94.8 passer rating and 62.7 completion percentage.  Following one season as tight ends/recruiting coordinator at Purdue, Olson spent one season as quarterbacks coach for the Chicago Bears in 2003. 

From 1997-2000, as quarterbacks coach at Purdue, Olson played a key role in the development of Pro Bowl and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Drew Brees. Under Olson, Brees was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1999 and 2000 while winning the Maxwell Award as the nation’s most outstanding player in 2000. Brees finished his collegiate career as the Big Ten and Purdue’s all-time leader in passing yardage (11,792), touchdown passes (90), total yards (12,693), completion percentage (61.1%), completions (1,026) and attempts (1,678). He also ranked fourth in NCAA Division I-A history for total offense, completions and attempts upon his departure from Purdue. Under Olson, Brees had seven 400-yard passing games and 16 300-yard passing games. Brees earned Big Ten player of Year honors in 1998 and 2000 and All-Conference accolades for three straight years (1998-2000).

Olson began his coaching career in 1987 as a graduate assistant under the tutelage of head coaches Dennis Erickson (1987-88) and Mike Price (1989) at Washington State, where he earned his master’s degree in athletic administration.  He spent four seasons (1990-93) as an assistant at Central Washington University and two seasons at Idaho (1994-96).  At Central Washington Olson developed quarterback Jon Kitna, who went on to become an NFL starter at Seattle, Cincinnati and Detroit.  

A native of Richland, Washington, Olson played quarterback at Spokane Falls Junior College from 1981-82 and at Central Washington from 1983-84, earning his bachelor’s degree in education.  

COACHING BACKGROUND: Washington State 1987-89, Central Washington 1990-93, Idaho 1994-96, Purdue 1997-2000, 2002, San Francisco 49ers 2001, Chicago Bears 2003, Detroit Lions 2004-05, St. Louis Rams 2006-07, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2008-11, Oakland Raiders 2013-14, Jacksonville Jaguars 2012, 2015