Former Iowa Hoops Coach Lute Olson Passes Away
UPDATE: The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that former Iowa men's basketball head coach Lute Olson has died at the age of 85. Olson, who led the Hawkeyes to their last appearance in the Final Four in 1980, passed away Thursday at his home in Tuscon, Arizona.
[ORIGINAL STORY] Rooting for the Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball team during Lute Olson's nine-year run as head coach was always fun. The Hawks won nearly two-thirds of their games under the tutelage of Olson and made their last trip to the Final Four. Now, Lute, who's 85 and gravely ill, needs you to cheer for him.
Olson, who coached Iowa to a 168-90 overall record, including 92-70 in Big Ten play from 1974 to 1983, is in hospice care. He suffered a minor stroke, his second stroke, in February of 2019. KGUN in Phoenix, Arizona says Olson hasn't been seen in public since having the second stroke. He had an undiagnosed stroke in 2008.
The 1979-80 Iowa team was the last to make the Final Four, on the strength of a victory over Georgetown. You can see the entire game here.
A heartbreaking loss to eventual national champion Louisville would follow in the Final Four.
This video is from Lute Olson's 2009 return to Iowa City:
After leaving Iowa City, Olson went on to coach the Arizona Wildcats for nearly a quarter-century. He led them to four Final Four's and a national championship in 1997. According to Arizona Central, Olson's overall record at Arizona was 589-187.
Olson is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and College Basketball Hall of Fame.