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Lute Olson

Lute Olson (1934–2020), legendary Arizona basketball coach

by Kirk Fox

Lute Olson was a legendary former head basketball coach at the University of Arizona.

  • Died: Thursday, August 27, 2020 (Who else died on August 27?) 
  • Details of Death: Died of a stroke at the age of 85.  
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Arizona Basketball Coaching Legend  

Olson coached nine years at the University of Iowa, leading the team to the NCAA final four in 1980. He took over as head coach at the University of Arizona in 1983 and was there for 24 years, retiring in 2008. He led the Wildcats to the 1997 NCAA National Championship Title. The Cats’ also made the final four in 1988, 1994, and 2001. He won the Pac-10 coach of the year award seven times and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. Olson had 35 players drafted into the NBA including Steve Kerr, Sean Elliott, and Mike Bibby.

What he missed about coaching after retirement 

“I’ve had a lot of questions about, ‘Do I miss coaching?’ Frankly, the only thing I’ve missed about coaching is the practice, to be with the kids and have some effect on their lives.” —Arizona Daily Star 2014 


What they said about him

Full Obituary: Arizona Daily Star

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