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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Mayville, North Dakota, USA
Birth NameRobert Olson
Height 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Lute Olson was born on September 22, 1934 in Mayville, North Dakota, USA as Robert Olson. He has been married to Kelly Pugnea since April 2010. He was previously married to Christine Toretti and Roberta Russell.

Spouse (3)

Kelly Pugnea (April 2010 - present)
Christine Toretti (14 April 2003 - 2008) (divorced)
Roberta Russell (27 November 1953 - 1 January 2001) (her death) (5 children)

Trivia (13)

Enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Played for Augsburg College (Minneapolis, MN), graduated 1956. All-MIAC (1955-1956) assists leader with 10,141 and all-time steals leader with 1,724.
Head coach for Long Beach City College, 1969-1973 (103-22), Long Beach State, 1973-1974 (24-2), the University of Iowa, 1975-1983 (168-90) and the University of Arizona, 1984 to present (471-143, .767). California JUCO State Champions (1971). Metro Conference titles (1970, 1971, 1973). Metro Conference Coach of the Year three times (1970, 1971, 1973) One of 8 coaches in collegiate history to coach in five or more Final Fours. One of 11 coaches who have taken two different teams to the Final Four. NCAA Final Four (1980). Big Ten Championship (1979). PAC-10 championships (1986,'88, '89, '90, '91, '93, '94, '98, '2000). four NCAA Final Four appearances (1988, '94, '97, 2001) and one NCAA Championship (1997). Arizona's 18 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances is the longest current streak in college basketball and is second longest in NCAA history (behind North Carolina's 27).
U.S. Coach, R. William Jones Cup Champions (1984). U.S. Coach, World Championship Gold Medal (1986). Coach of the Year Awards: National Coach of the Year (1988, '90), CBS-TV Coach of the Year (1989), PAC 10 Coach of the Year (1986, '88, '89, 93, '94, '98), NABC District 15 Coach of the Year (1989, '93, '94), USBWA District 8 Coach of the Year (1988, '93), Big Ten Coach of the Year (1979, '81), PCAA Coach of the Year (1974), Western Region Coach of the Year (1974), Basketball Times West Region Coach of the Year (1998), Naismith National Coach of the Year Finalist (1998).
Recipient of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award (which honors the active Division I basketball coach who has made the most significant positive contributions to his sport during the preceding year) in 2001.
Coached Bill Walton's son Luke Walton in Basketball at the University of Arizona from 1998-2002. Luke was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers after graduation.
The basketball court at McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona, at the University of Arizona was named in honor of Lute and his late wife. The court is now called "Bobbi and Lute Olson Court.".
He lost his wife of 47 years, Bobbi, to ovarian cancer on New Year's Day in 2001.
Has five children (daughters Vicki, Jodi, Christi, sons Greg and Steve) and fourteen grandchildren.
Met second wife, Christine, at the 2002 Final Four in Atlanta. She is chief executive of a Pennsylvania-based oil and gas drilling company, and has three sons from her first marriage.
Filed for divorce from his wife Christine, although she says she remains committed to the marriage. (6 December 2007).
Head coach of men's basketball at the Univeristy of Arizona (1983-present)
(December 6) Announced that he would extend his leave from the Univeristy of Arizona through the end of the season. [2007]

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