Former Arizona Wildcats basketball coach Lute Olson suffers minor stroke

The hospital said Olson is in good condition
Posted at 4:18 PM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-18 19:13:40-05

Former Arizona Wildcats men's basketball coach Lute Olson is in good spirits after suffering a stroke last weekend, Banner University Medical Center in Tucson said Monday.

The 84-year-old Olson "is expected to make a full recovery but will likely need some rehabilitation therapy after his discharge from the hospital,” Dr. David Labiner, chairman of the UA Department of Neurology, said in a statement.

"Coach Olson is not only an icon of our men’s basketball program and all of college basketball, but he is also an embodiment of greatness to Arizona Athletics, the University of Arizona and the Tucson community. Our thoughts are with Coach Olson, his family and loved ones during this time," the UA athletics department said in a separate statement.

Olson served as UA's head men's basketball coach from 1983-2008. He guided the Wildcats to four NCAA Final Four appearances, including a 1997 national championship. Medical conditions forced Olson to retire in 2008, but he is often seen in attendance at UA basketball games.

Olson was married to his first wife Bobbi for 47 years. The court at McKale Center, where UA plays its home games, was renamed Lute and Bobbi Olson Court after Bobbi passed away in 2001 due to ovarian cancer.

Olson was the head coach at Long Beach State and Iowa before joining the Wildcats. His 780 career wins are 29th most in NCAA men's basketball history. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

In a statement, current UA men's basketball coach Sean Miller wished Olson well.