Lute Olson

Lute Olson’s quiet demeanor on the bench qualifies him as a throwback to basketball’s early game coaches, but his brilliance as a recruiter, tactician and builder of programs has enabled him to excel like few others in the modern collegiate game. Following successful stints at Long Beach State and the University of Iowa – where he guided the Hawkeyes to five consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament and the 1980 Final Four – Olson transformed Arizona into a national power and brought new prominence to West Coast basketball. Olson has made the Wildcats a fixture in the national championship hunt each season, guiding his teams to Final Four appearances in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000 decades. He is one of a handful of coaches to take two different teams to the Final Four and his more than 700 victories ranks him among the college basketball’s all-time leaders. With a winning percentage at Arizona exceeding the 80 percent mark the last two decades, Olson stands alone in that impressive category.