Lute Olson Statue in Tucson
Statues of Tucson - Lute Olson Statue
If you grew up in southern Arizona then you know the name, Lute Olson. As the head coach for the University of Arizona basketball team for 24 seasons, he took the program to new heights of success. This included 23 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament, eleven PAC 10 titles, and one National Championship in 1997. Lute Olson came to Tucson in 1983 from the University of Iowa to be the head coach of the U of A. He quickly turned the Wildcat program around and, within two years gave them a winning season, something they had been lacking for the past six years. In his fourth year, Olson took to them to their first final four after being ranked number one for most of the season. On April 12, 2018, his statue was dedicated outside of the Eddie Lynch Pavilion at McKale Center on the campus of the University of Arizona. The statue depicts Lute with a raised arm in victory and the other holding the 1997 Men’s Basketball NCAA Championship Trophy. Immediately behind the statue is an accolade that lays out his many accomplishments as a head coach. Lute passed away on August 27, 2020. Many people used the statue as a place to remember the coach by placing flowers, basketballs, and other memorabilia at its feet. Lute will forever be regarded in Tucson as the person who gave us one of the most revered and feared basketball programs in the NCAA.
Check out some pictures of the Lute Olson Statue, and the display board.