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Ishpeming, MI – After Jeff Olson announced he would be stepping down following the completion of the 2018-19 season, many were left wondering who would replace the legendary coach for the Hematites.
Well, that question was answered Thursday as Ishpeming announced the hiring of George Niemi as the new head coach for the football team.
Niemi, has been associated with the Hematites for over a decade, he has spent the last six years as the head coach for the junior varsity team
Terry Roberts, the Ishpeming Athletic Director, says they felt it was best to stay in-house with the hire and bring someone on board with experience inside the program.
“He brings a wealth of knowledge to the game. He’s going to continue the tradition here that we’ve had over the last many, many years. He knows these kids because he’s coached them all. He’s worked hand in hand with Jeff throughout the year with the offense and defense. He helped out during the playoffs. So, I think it’s going to be a comfortable transition and George knows what’s expected and what’s not expected, and he’ll be fine with everything.”
For Niemi, he’s excited to take the reigns of a program that has created a winning culture and hopes he can add to the rich history of Ishpeming football.
“Well, number one I’m excited and honored to be put in this position. The tradition we have at Ishpeming is something that we need to continue. We need to stick to our game plan and to follow in Jeff Olson’s footsteps. At the j-v level, our play calling, our defense, our blocking schemes, they were all similar to what our varsity program ran and I don’t see us doing anything drastic. We’re going to stick to the hematite football way.”
The Hematite’s went 11-1 last season making an appearance in the division 8 regional final.