Lute Olson, the silver-haired college basketball coaching icon who led the College of Arizona to the 1997 countrywide championship, died Thursday at the age of 85. 

Olson coached for 34 seasons at the Division I level at Extended Beach Condition, Iowa and Arizona from 1973 right until his retirement in 2008. He was 1 of the most successful coaches in faculty basketball heritage, compiling an in general record of 776 wins and 285 losses (.731).

He is tied for the most NCAA Tournament appearances as a mentor (28) and fourth in NCAA tourney wins (46). Olson is one of eight coaches to lead his staff to 5 or extra Final Four appearances, and 1 of 11 to take two unique educational facilities to the Closing 4. 

The son of family members farmers, Olson was born in Mayville, North Dakota, where by he first developed a appreciate for basketball. As a senior in high university, he led Grand Forks Central to the North Dakota state championship.

Olson received his get started in higher education coaching at Extensive Seashore City College, relocating to Division I when he took above for Jerry Tarkanian at Very long Seashore Condition for just one year.

He moved to Iowa in 1974, wherever he built the Hawkeyes into a countrywide energy — profitable a share of the Large Ten title in 1979 (with Purdue and eventual national champion Michigan Point out) and achieving the Final 4 in 1980. Just after foremost Iowa to a fifth consecutive NCAA tourney, Olson still left to get in excess of the task at Arizona — then a doormat in the Pac-10 meeting.

ARIZONA WILDCATS: Lute Olson and Bill Frieder formed an not likely, and lasting, friendship

Even so, Olson rapidly turned the application around in Tucson. In his second year, he led the Wildcats to their 1st winning year in six several years and what would be the initial of 23 consecutive NCAA Event appearances.

In the 1985-86 time, Arizona gained its to start with Pac-10 title underneath Olson and a yr later on the Wildcats put in a great deal of the normal time ranked No. 1 in the country. 

Over 25 seasons at Arizona, Olson’s teams received 11 Pac-10 regular period titles and four convention tournament crowns. The crowning achievement in his coaching occupation came in 1997, when he took the fourth-seeded Wildcats all the way to an NCAA Tournament title — defeating 3 No. 1 seeds together the way. 

He retired in 2008 with much more Pac-10 wins (327) than any other coach in convention heritage.

Olson was named to the Basketball Corridor of Fame in 2002 and the Nationwide Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Contributing: The Linked Push


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