Olsen attended Utah State University where he became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and was a three-year letterman in football as a defensive tackle. He graduated from the College of Business and Social Sciences at USU with a bachelor’s degree in Finance in 1962 and a master’s degree in Economics in 1971. He later received an honorary doctorate degree in business from the Huntsman School.
In football, as a senior, he was a consensus All-American selection (making the vast majority of All-America teams) and was the winner of the Outland Trophy. After Olsen’s junior year of 1960, he was also named All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and Newspaper Enterprise Association. He was also All-Conference in both 1960 and 1961. Olsen and Utah State were in the 1960 Sun Bowl, losing to New Mexico State, 20–13. Led by Olsen, the Aggie defense held the New Mexico State Aggies to just 44 rushing yards on 32 carries.
The Aggie defense Olsen anchored as a senior gave up an average of 50.8 rushing yards (which led the nation), 88.6 passing yards, and 139.4 total yards which all still stand as school records for defense. The 1961 Aggie defense gave up an average 7.8 points a game, which is second in team history behind Olsen’s 1960 team, which allowed 6.5 points per game. Additionally, the Aggie defense held four opponents to less than 100 total yards. One, the University of Idaho, was held to a school-record of 23 total yards, with the Aggies winning 69–0.
The Aggies, not known as a national power football program, finished 10th in both the AP and UPI post-season polls, the only time that has occurred in school history. The Aggies had a combined 18–3–1 record during Olsen’s junior and senior seasons under coach John Ralston and were conference champions those two seasons as well.
The HURD is the student section at Utah State University. The HURD started in 2006 and has grown every year since. Beginning as a club in the USU Student Association, the HURD moved to total inclusion of the entire USU student body in the summer of 2012. At capacity, the HURD fills 6,500 seats at Romney Stadium for USU Football and 4,000 seats in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum for USU Basketball. The HURD helps organize major activities, with leadership and help from the HURD Committee, such as tailgates, camp outs, away game watch parties and more for the student body and community. Drawing from its motto “Be Seen. Be Loud. Be HURD!”, the HURD ensures that the teams who visit Utah State University will experience the best atmosphere in the country for collegiate athletics by being known as one of the craziest student sections in the country.
College Sports Established
Utah State University
1973 – Present / NCAA Division 1
1921 – 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
2013 – Present / Mountain West Conference
2005 – 2013 / Western Athletic Conference
2003 – 2005 / Sun Belt Conference
1978 – 2003 / Big West Conference
1921 – 1978 / Independent
Aggies – The name Aggies, short for Agriculturalists, is a fixture of many universities that began as land-grant and agricultural colleges. Early USU sports teams were sometimes simply referred to as the “Farmers” as well as the Aggies, though the former name was never official. Beginning in the 1930s, an image of a “bean-pole farmer” with a pitchfork in hand and hay stalk in mouth began to be used to represent the college, though this too was never made official, and disappeared following the transformation into a full-fledged university in 1957.
During the late 1960s and early ’70s, a movement began on campus to shed the Aggie name in favor of the Utah State Highlanders, but the movement met with widespread opposition and was abandoned. The name “Highlanders” was a nod to the university’s historic ideological tie to Scotland, which came about very early on in the college’s history, mostly due to the university’s setting on a hill in a high mountain valley. In fact, for a brief period, USU’s teams were indeed nicknamed the “Scotsmen” as well, and a remnant of this era lives on in the current and popular fight song “The Scotsman.”
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