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Legendary Arizona Men’s Basketball Coach Lute Olson Dies at 85

Lute Olson in 2006. (Photo by: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Hall of Fame basketball coach Lute Olson died at 85 late Thursday night, his family confirmed to Arizona reporters.

Olson was hospitalized last year, and he was recently moved into hospice care.

He is responsible for the Wildcats only NCAA Championship (1997) and all four of the school’s Final Four appearances (1988, 1994, 1997, 2001). He also guided Arizona to 23 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Olson is one of five Division I coaches to have 20 seasons with 20 wins or more each year. The other four? Dean Smith (27 seasons), Mike Krzyzewski (24), Bill Self (22), and Mark Few (21). Krzyzewski, Self and Few’s streaks are still active.

At Arizona, Olson went 589-187 in his 24 seasons. Before joined the Wildcats in 1983, Olson coached at Iowa from 1974-83.

He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

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