Lute Olson, the silver-haired school basketball training icon who led the College of Arizona to the 1997 nationwide championship, died Thursday on the age of 85. 

Olson coached for 34 seasons on the Department I stage at Lengthy Seaside State, Iowa and Arizona from 1973 till his retirement in 2008. He was once one of the vital a hit coaches in school basketball historical past, compiling an general report of 776 wins and 285 losses (.731).

He’s tied for probably the most NCAA Match appearances as a trainer (28) and fourth in NCAA tourney wins (46). Olson is one in every of 8 coaches to steer his staff to 5 or extra Ultimate 4 appearances, and one in every of 11 to take two other faculties to the Ultimate 4. 

Mythical Arizona Wildcats head trainer Lute Olson watches from the stands on the McKale Middle in Tucson, Arizona, as his former staff performs Washington State in 2019. (Picture: Casey Sapio, USA TODAY Sports activities)

The son of circle of relatives farmers, Olson was once born in Mayville, North Dakota, the place he first evolved a love for basketball. As a senior in highschool, he led Grand Forks Central to the North Dakota state championship.

Olson were given his get started in school training at Lengthy Seaside Town Faculty, shifting to Department I when he took over for Jerry Tarkanian at Lengthy Seaside State for one season.

He moved to Iowa in 1974, the place he built the Hawkeyes into a national power — winning a share of the Big Ten title in 1979 (with Purdue and eventual national champion Michigan State) and reaching the Final Four in 1980. After leading Iowa to a fifth consecutive NCAA tourney, Olson left to take over the job at Arizona — then a doormat in the Pac-10 conference.

ARIZONA WILDCATS: Lute Olson and Bill Frieder formed an unlikely, and lasting, friendship

Alternatively, Olson temporarily became this system round in Tucson. In his 2nd season, he led the Wildcats to their first successful season in six years and what will be the first of 23 consecutive NCAA Match appearances.

Within the 1985-86 season, Arizona received its first %-10 identify below Olson and a yr later the Wildcats spent a lot of the common season ranked No. 1 within the country. 

Over 25 seasons at Arizona, Olson’s groups received 11 %-10 common season titles and 4 convention match crowns. The crowning fulfillment in his training profession got here in 1997, when he took the fourth-seeded Wildcats the entire strategy to an NCAA Match identify — defeating 3 No. 1 seeds alongside the best way. 

He retired in 2008 with extra %-10 wins (327) than every other trainer in convention historical past.

Olson was once named to the Basketball Corridor of Repute in 2002 and the Nationwide Collegiate Basketball Corridor of Repute in 2006.

Contributing: The Related Press


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