Remembering the legend, Lute Olson

Family, friends, former players and fans gather to honor the late coach
Published: Sep. 12, 2021 at 5:15 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - “We are all better for having shred time with Lute Olson,” said Brian Jeffries, the Voice of the Wildcats.

“The first time you heard ‘Coach O’ say your name, it just resonated with you, the lasting bellow of his voice,” said former Wildcat basketball player Jason Terry.

Trying to sum up the vast impact Olson had on so many is no small task.

“This was a guy that gave all of us a chance,” said Jim Roborough, Olson’s Associate Head Coach.

Olson came to Tucson in 1983 when he landed the role as Head Men’s Basketball Coach at the University of Arizona. He recorded 20 straight winning seasons, and he left a lasting impact on people along the way.

“One of our early practices when this legendary Jason Terry came in coach got up nose to nose,” said Roborough. “He was blasting Jason and he’s shivering, he was a nervous son of a gun, look what happened his jersey is up in the rafters.”

“I’m a better father a better husband and a better a man because of him,” said Terry.

“He changed my entire life, the entire course of my life everything he’s done for me and everyone here who would say the same thing,” said former wildcat Steve Kerr. Ultimately that is his greatest accomplishment, bringing all of us together.”

Olson was described as humble, a genius on and off the court, and a man that gave people of all ages one of the greatest things in life—joy.

“Lute was in my opinion one of the best things that’s ever happened to Tucson” said Paul Weitmen, one of Olson’s friends. “It’s hard to remember what it was like before he came and graced our university’s hardwood, he quite simply changed everything for the better.”

Olson was a man everyone wanted to be around, someone who genuinely cared and a man who truly enjoyed the ride.

“True greatness lives forever lutes influence will live forever,” said Jeffries. “When we say bear down keep in mind whose looking down on all of us.”

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