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Report: Arizona coaching legend Lute Olson passes away at age 85

Chris Coduto | The Daily Wildcat Retired Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson in McKale Center in 2007. Olson led Arizona to four Final Fours and one national title.

Former Arizona men’s basketball coach Lute Olson has died at the age of 85, his wife Kelly told Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

Olson, who was the head coach for the Wildcats from 1983-2008, has battled several health issues in his career and was reported by KVOA to be in hospice care on Tuesday, Aug. 25. The cause of death at this time is unknown.

Olson guided the Wildcats to 23 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, 11 conference titles, four Final Fours and one national championship in his time at Arizona.

Before that, Olson went 24-2 in his lone season at Long Beach State and held a coaching record of 167-91 in his nine seasons at Iowa, leading the Hawkeyes to a Final Four appearance and became the program’s all-time winningest coach.

Olson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 after going 589-187 as the coach at Arizona. 

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