MISSOULA -- Montana Grizzlies senior linebacker Dante Olson was named the 2019 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award winner on Friday night. The banquet was held in Frisco, Texas ahead of Saturday's FCS national championship game.
The senior from Medford, Ore. helped lead Montana back to the quarterfinal round of the FCS playoffs, the program's first playoff appearance since 2015. In 2019, Olson lead the FCS in tackles and broke the school record for tackles in a season with 179.
Dante Olson honored on the field at the #FCSChampionship as the @fcs_ada Defensive Player of the Year! 👏👏👏#GoGriz #UpWithMontana pic.twitter.com/Z51iNEN5fx— Montana Griz Football (@MontanaGrizFB) January 11, 2020
Eleven of those were tackles for a loss and 67 were solo take downs. Olson also finished the season with 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception. Olson finished his career as the all-time tackles leader at UM, with 397, accomplishing that feat in just two seasons as a starter.
"It was a very surreal feeling to win the Buchanan Award, and very humbling. It was amazing to hear my name called, and it's an awesome thing to be a part of," he said.
Olson becomes the third Griz to win the award, joining Kroy Biermann and Tyrone Holmes, who won the award in 2007 and 2015, respectively. Olson was previously named the FCS defensive player of the year by the FCS ADA, Big Sky Conference defender of the year and consensus all-American (AFCA, STATS, FCS ADA, Associated Press, HERO Sports and Walter Camp).
"Football is a team game," said Olson. "This is an incredible individual award, but I couldn't be more thankful for the team I was surrounded with last year. Each and every individual that was around me had a huge impact on me. We had a very successful year as a team and I couldn't be more thankful to them and the coaching staff that helped me achieve this goal of mine."
During his speech, Olson also touched on how much of an impact Montana head coach Bobby Hauck had on him in their two years together.
"For him to win the Buck Buchanan Award is great for Dante and his family, it's great for the Grizzly family and the University of Montana, and I know everybody in the state of Montana is proud of him," said Hauck.