Olson Again Honored for his Work Off the Field

Montana linebacker Dante Olson was twice recognized this week for his commitment to academics and service in the community as a finalist for the STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award and as a member of the inaugural Big Sky Football Community Service Team.

Named after the late school teacher and wife of legendary Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson, the fifth annual Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award is presented to an FCS student-athlete who “excels not only in the classroom but in the community and beyond,” STATS announced Thursday.

Olson is one of only 13 finalists, one from each FCS conference, to be named a finalist for the prestigious academic award.

STATS will announce the winner on Dec. 16 and honor him at the FCS Awards Banquet Jan. 10 in Frisco, Texas – on the eve of the national championship game.

Olson, who carries a 3.91 cumulative GPA while majoring in business management with a minor in entertainment management at the University of Montana College of Business, is also a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, also known as the “Academic Heisman.”

The senior from Medford, Oregon, is also a 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-District team member and a nominee for Academic All-American.

Olson is a four-time selection to Montana’s President’s Honor Roll for students with a 4.0 GPA, a three-time Dean’s List member and three-time Academic All-Big Sky selection as well. In 2018 he was also named to the FCS Athletic Director’s Association Academic All-Star Team.

The Big Sky Conference also announced its honorees for the 2019 Big Sky Football Community Service Team on Tuesday.

In its inaugural year, the award recognizes football student-athletes who have dedicated their time to helping others and have gone above and beyond in making an impact on their campus and community. The Community Service Team is made up of one individual football player from each of the league’s 13 competing institutions. Award winners were nominated by their respective head coaches.

Olson was honored for his work as a pen-pal and mentor, encouraging a class of underprivileged kids in California to pursue a college education through the “No Excuses University” program.

In the last year, Olson has spent nearly 40 hours performing community service, including helping facilitate a Griz football “Be the Match” Bone Marrow drive, signing up UM students to join the national bone marrow registry.

For his efforts in the community, Olson was also named to the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and will travel to New Orleans in December to partake in a community service project with Tim Tebow and the rest of the Good Works Team and be introduced at halftime of the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

The Doris Robinson Award finalists
Big Sky Conference: Dante Olson, Montana, LB, R-Sr. (major: business administration/management, minor: entertainment management, GPA: 3.91)
Big South Conference: K.J. Smith, North Alabama, SS, Sr. (interdisciplinary studies/emphasis on health, 4.00)
CAA Football: Chucky Smith, Villanova, S, R-Sr. (biology with minors in economics and naval science, 3.62)
Ivy League: Jelani Taylor, Cornell, S, Sr. (hotel administration, 3.94)
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: Ian McBorrough, Morgan State, LB, Sr. (business management, 3.29)
Missouri Valley Football Conference: Tom Rehfeld, Western Illinois, LB, R-Sr. (nursing degree. 3.50; in grad school)
Northeast Conference: Spencer DeMedal, Duquesne, S, Sr. (biology, 3.98)
Ohio Valley Conference: Joe Caputo, Eastern Illinois, LB, R-Sr. (accounting and finance with minors in data analytics and supply chain management, 3.89)
Patriot League: Alex Pechin, Bucknell, P, 5th Year. (biomedical engineering and management for engineers double major, 3.90)
Pioneer Football League: Jacob Bacon, Drake, OL, Sr. (actuarial science and finance, 3.93; business administration in grad school, 4.0)
Southern Conference: Dorian Kithcart, Mercer, DL, R-Sr. (mechanical engineering degree, 3.54 GPA; mechanical engineering in grad school, 3.63)
Southland Conference: Chris Zirkle, Northwestern State, OL, R-Sr. (business degree, 3.83; homeland security in grad school, 4.00)
Southwestern Athletic Conference: Carl Thompson, Alabama State, OL, R-Jr. (computer information system, 3.6)

2019 Big Sky Community Service Team
Cal Poly – Fred Gaines, Sr., FS
Eastern Washington – Dean Sise, R-So., DB/ST
Idaho – Lloyd Hightower, Sr., DB
Idaho State – Anthony Ricks, Sr., DB
Montana – Dante Olson, Sr., LB
Montana State – Kyle Finch, Jr., DE
Northern Arizona – Joey Gatewood, Sr., TE
Northern Colorado – Luke Nelson, Sr., LB
Portland State – Daniel Giannosa, Jr., OL
Sacramento State – Allen Perryman, Sr., DB
Southern Utah – Somtochukwu Achebo, R-Fr., S
UC Davis – Kooper Richardson, Jr., OL
Weber State – Jared Schiess, Jr., DL