Arizona to honor former basketball coach Olson

Led Hawkeyes to 1980 Final Four

TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona says it will honor former Wildcats basketball coach Lute Olson with a statue on campus.

Athletic director Dave Heeke announced Tuesday that the project will cost about $300,000 with most of the money coming from private donations.

Construction is scheduled to be completed next March. The statue will be located at a pavilion outside the north end of the McKale Center basketball arena.

Olson coached Arizona from 1983 to 2008 and compiled a 589-187 record, guiding the Wildcats to the 1997 national championship, four Final Four appearances, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments and 11 Pac-10 titles.

He was Pac-10 Coach of the Year seven times and led Arizona to 20 consecutive 20-win seasons.

Olson, now 82, was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

He coached Iowa from 1974 to 1983 with an overall record of 167-91. Olson led the Hawkeyes to a Final Four appearance in 1980, losing to eventual national champion Louisville in the national semifinal.