BURLINGTON — The Burlington-Edison High School football program didn't have to look far to find a replacement for coach Herb Lehman.
Assistant coach Andy Olson is the Tigers' new coach.
"It's a great opportunity," Olson said. "I am really blessed. I am really looking forward to working with the kids in a community that has a lot of tradition and a lot of passion for their kids. I love that sort of passion and I certainly wouldn't want it the other way around. People are invested in their kids and that's what you want as a coach and a teacher."
Lehman resigned following his eighth season as coach. He was 45-38 overall.
Burlington-Edison Athletic Director Don Beazizo said the school interviewed five candidates. He said Olson's familiarity with the program and players, and his success on and off the field separated him from the rest.
"He is just an overall good guy and his connection with the kids is probably one of his biggest strengths," Beazizo said.
Olson, who teaches in the Burlington-Edison School District at Bay View Elementary School, became a member of the high school football staff in 2014 as a volunteer assistant while attending graduate school at Northwest University in Kirkland.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Gonzaga University in 2012 after graduating in 2008 from Lynden High School, where he played center on the football team.
"He had success when he played at Lynden," Beazizo said. "Because he is a Lynden grad, he was on a lot of championship teams up there. So he has that sort of experience as well."
On the field, Olson wants to see improvement week to week, and wants to best utilize the abilities of his players.
"I don't believe there is any one size fits all," he said. "If that were the case, we wouldn't have state championship teams running the spread (offense) one year, the wing-T the next year and the I formation the following year. If there was just one answer, everyone would be doing it."
Olson said there will be a general framework to the program, but there will be no forcing the team to do something it isn't suited to.
"How we get from point A to point B is going to be a little bit different year to year based on what we've got," he said said. "It comes down to our effort, enthusiasm and energy. No matter your approach, as long as you use the 'three e's,' you are going to do it at a high level."