Saskatchewan Roughriders lose defensive line coach Ben Olson to U.S. college ranks

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders are in the market for a new defensive line coach following the departure of Ben Olson, who resigned on Saturday to accept a job south of the border.

The 33-year-old has been hired as the defensive line coach at the University of the Incarnate Word, a private institution located in Texas. He was originally hired by the Riders in March 2020, spending the past two seasons on staff with the team.

Defensive ends A.C. Leonard and Jonathan Woodard led the CFL sacks in 2021 with 11 and 10, respectively, while defensive tackle Micah Johnson was named a West Division all-star. In 2022, defensive end Pete Robertson and defensive tackle Anthony Lanier II had breakout seasons under Olson, though both were shortened due to injury.

The University of the Incarnate Word plays in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) of the FCS, which also features schools including Grand Canyon University, New Mexico State University, and Stephen F. Austin State University. Former CFL linebacker Dexter McCoil served as the safeties coach for the Cardinals this past season, though he has since moved on to Texas State University.

Olson has previously coached at McNeese State, Eastern Illinois, Rose-Hulman, Bowling Green, Syracuse, Colgate, and Yale.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.