Arizona Coaching Legend and Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Lute Olson has died at age 85


Hall of Fame basketball coach Lute Olson, who built Arizona into a national power and guided the Wildcats to the school’s only NCAA championship, has died at age 85.

Olson was hospitalized last year after suffering a stroke, and was recently moved into hospice care.

His death was confirmed by family to Arizona media outlets.

Olson went 589-187 in 24 seasons at Arizona and guided the Wildcats to four Final Four appearances, 23 consecutive NCAA tournaments and 11 Pac-10 titles, as well as the national title in 1997.

He was inducted into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006, and a statue of Olson was erected outside the McKale Memorial Center in 2018.

Olson finished his coaching career with a record of 776-285 in 34 seasons at Arizona, Iowa and Long Beach State.

Arizona won just four games in 1982-83, the season before Olson arrived in Tucson, and had reached the NCAA tournament twice since 1951.

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