Arizona Wildcats coaching legend Lute Olson is in hospice care, according to KVOA, and “in the fight of his life,” according to longtime Daily Star columnist Greg Hansen.
The 85-year-old has long battled health issues, including a minor stroke in February 2019 that hospitalized him. Olson coached at Arizona for 24 seasons before retiring prior to the 2007-08 campaign after an undiagnosed stroke led to depression and an irregular heartbeat.
After taking over a 4-24 team, Olson guided the Wildcats to 23 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, 11 conference titles, four Final Fours and, of course, the 1997 national championship.
The eight-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 as one of only three coaches at the time to record 29 or more 20-win seasons.
Before arriving at Arizona, Olson went 24-2 in one season at Long Beach State and 167-91 in nine seasons at Iowa, where he led the Hawkeyes to a Final Four and departed as the program’s all-time wins leader.
He went 589-187 (.759) at Arizona, the best winning percentage in school history among coaches who coached at least 100 games.
We will pass along any updates when/if we receive them. In the meantime, keep Coach O in your prayers.