One of head coach Kalani Sitake’s former teammates at BYU is the Cougars’ new football game analyst for radio broadcasts on the Nu Skin BYU Sports Network.

“When he called, it was just this feeling of humility, gratitude, that I would be considered for something like this. I had to fight back tears several times.” — Hans Olsen

The school announced Thursday that former BYU and NFL offensive and defensive lineman Hans Olsen will replace former quarterback Riley Nelson, who stepped down after the 2022 season. Olsen is the nephew of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and legendary former Utah State defensive lineman Merlin Olsen.

Olsen will join longtime BYU play-by-play voice Greg Wrubell in the booth.

“I’m excited to have Hans join our BYU radio broadcast team,” Sitake said in a school news release. “He is a former player and teammate of mine here at BYU, who played both defensive and offensive line in the NFL — something not many people have done. I know he has a great perspective and understanding of the game that Cougar Nation will enjoy listening to alongside Greg Wrubell in the booth for our games.” 

Former BYU receiver Mitchell Juergens will return for his sixth season as a sideline reporter, while Jason Shepherd will remain the studio host. Wrubell is entering his 23rd season as the play-by-play man, having replaced the legendary Paul James.

“I’m elated to have Hans Olsen join our broadcast team, and I’m eager to work with him as a commentary partner,” Wrubell said in the new release. “I have known Hans since his BYU playing days, and I’ve always enjoyed being around him. I know our listeners in Cougar Nation will appreciate Hans’ expertise, wit and engaging personality. He is an excellent broadcaster with a passion for BYU football, and I’m sure our audience will value his insights and energetic delivery. I can’t wait to experience the Big 12 football era with him in the booth.”

Olsen played for BYU from 1996-2000 before a seven-year pro career. He has been a radio broadcaster in Utah the past 17 years, including five years as a national football game analyst. 

The native of Weiser, Idaho, has hosted a daily sports radio show in Utah since 2006 and been an analyst for Bowl Season Radio’s national coverage of games since 2018.

Appearing on BYUtv’s “BYU Sports Nation” Thursday morning, Olsen called the opportunity “extremely humbling, very humbling.”

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He said when Wrubell reached out to gauge his interest, he was overwhelmed with the thought of succeeding greats such as Nelson and Marc Lyons.

“When he called, it was just this feeling of humility, gratitude, that I would be considered for something like this,” he said. “I had to fight back tears several times.”

Olsen called the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato bowl pitting BYU and Western Michigan. He was also on the headsets for the 2021 Independence Bowl pitting BYU and UAB.

He was a state champion wrestler and all-state football player at Weiser High in Idaho before attending BYU. He currently co-hosts a sports radio show on KSL Sports Zone 97.5 FM with Utah State play-by-play voice Scott Garrard and will continue to host that show, he said.

BYU defensive players Jeff Holtry, Chris Hoke, Rob Morris, and Hans Olsen wearing the bib uniforms.
BYU defensive players Jeff Holtry, Chris Hoke, Rob Moris, and Hans Olsen during a win over Washington. | Gary M. McKellar, Deseret News