The painting depicted above of Ishpeming High School football coach Jeff Olson and his son Isaac hugging following the Hematites state championship win was done by local artist Dan Cook. (Artwork courtesy of Dan Cook)
MARQUETTE – A friend suggested Marquette artist Dan Cook consider doing a painting in honor of the Ishpeming High School football team and its third state championship in four years.
What Cook came up with has touched the heart of IHS coach Jeff Olson as the painting is of the coach hugging his son Isaac, an IHS junior who played on the title-winning team.
“It was No. 1, phenomenal,” Olson said. “I always wanted something like that and to have someone do that from a picture that means so much to our family, something so emotional, that means so much.
“But the main reason that painting is so special is that after I spoke at Daniel’s funeral about him wanting to win a state championship, Isaac told me right there he would win a state championship for me,” Olson said. “That’s what we were talking about in that moment we were hugging.”
Daniel, Olson’s oldest son, was quarterback for the Hematites when the team lost in the state finals in 2010. Daniel Olson committed suicide in 2011 after a long struggle with depression and anxiety.
Cook looked at photos posted online after Ishpeming’s 22-16 victory over Pewamo-Westphalia in the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Division 7 championship game last Saturday.
“The one that I based the painting on popped out at me,” Cook said. “I wanted to do this because this all was great for Ishpeming and the Upper Peninsula.”
The painting is 24 inches by 36 inches and an acrylic.
“The painting took about five hours,” Cook said. “I sent a text to coach and he came right over. I think it touched him. I was so proud.”
Cook gave the original painting to coach Olson and his family.
Prints are available through the artist, who can be contacted at 361-6080.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 240. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.