Lute Olson: legendary Arizona basketball coach dies at 85

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Olson led the Wildcats to the 1997 National Championship and coached his team to three more Final Four appearances. Olson has won National Coach of the Year five times.Olson had 781 career coaching victories, setting a record 589-187 in Arizona. Olson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

University of Arizona director of athletics Dave Heeke said in a statement, “The coach (Olson) was an iconic figure in varsity basketball who set the basketball program in motion. University of Arizona on the map. Yet his legacy extends far beyond the field. It had an impact on thousands of people. lives, inspiring young men to exceed their potential and instilling service to others as a cornerstone of a person’s character. He will be sadly missed by all who love the University of Arizona. ”

“Lute Olson was more than a basketball coach,” said University of Arizona president Robert C. Robbins. “He was an educator, motivator, husband, father, grandfather and friend to so many people. He was a true leader in every sense of the word and demonstrated such integrity and compassion in every business. Although Coach is no longer Be With Us, his presence will be felt for generations to come. On behalf of the University of Arizona, our community and generations of Wildcat fans, we send our thoughts and prayers to the Olson family. ”

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