AUBURN, Ala. – Former Auburn great Gregg Olson has been named a student assistant for the Tigers, head coach Butch Thompson and the Auburn baseball program announced Wednesday.
A two-time All-American pitcher for the Tigers from 1986-88, Olson will join pitching coach Steve Smith in working with the Auburn pitching staff.
“People are the biggest strength of a program, and passionate student-athletes connecting with great teachers is vital to development,” Thompson said. “Gregg Olson simply adds another incredible level of depth to our team as a student assistant. It’s well documented that he was a first round pick, a Rookie of the Year and an All-Star in 14 MLB seasons. Our program will not only be blessed by his amazing experiences on the diamond, but our players will also see an example of a great Auburn man.”
Olson returned to The Plains last fall to begin working toward completing his degree in interdisciplinary studies with minors in psychology, history and sport coaching.
“It’s an honor to have the chance to work with these great coaches and student-athletes,” Olson said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to spend time with these guys on the field as they prepare for the spring season, and I’m glad to be a part of the program again.”
A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Olson enjoyed a three-year career at Auburn, posting a 25-7 record and 3.03 ERA. More than 30 years removed from his collegiate career, the right-hander still ranks in the top 10 in Auburn history in appearances (3rd, 97), saves (T-4th, 20), winning percentage (5th, .781), strikeouts (7th, 271) and wins (T-9th, 25).
Olson broke through as a sophomore (11-1, 1.26) at Auburn and went a combined 18-4 with a 1.62 ERA while recording 20 saves in 78 appearances in his final two seasons. Along with his All-American honors, Olson was named First Team All-SEC and ABCA All-South Region following the 1987 and 1988 campaigns. He went on to become the then-highest draft pick in program history as he was selected fourth overall by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1988 MLB Draft.
Olson made his MLB debut with the Orioles that same season as he pitched a scoreless inning of relief vs. Seattle on Sept. 2, 1988. The following season, Olson posted a 5-2 record and 1.69 ERA while converting 27 saves and was named the American League Rookie of the Year. Also named an American League All-Star in 1990, Olson ultimately spent six seasons with the Orioles and turned in 160 career saves, which still stands as an organizational record. He was inducted in the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2008.
Olson played for eight teams in the remaining eight years of his 14-year MLB career and turned in 217 career saves, which ranks 45th in MLB history.
Following his playing career, Olson served as a scout for the San Diego Padres and helped operate an athletics apparel manufacturer known as Toolshed Sports. He also served as the Director of Manager Training on the Newport Beach Little League Board of Directors.
Most recently, Olson has served as a color analyst for the Orioles Radio Network in each of the last two seasons. He was also an analyst for the Auburn Sports Network and SEC Network+ in 2019.
Olson and his wife, Jill, reside in Auburn. They have four children, Brett (24), Brooke (22), Ashley (19) and Ryan (16).