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Arizona?s Lute Olson Earns Career Coaching Victory No. 1,000
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/11/2004
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Becomes the 16th coach in basketball history to win 1,000 or more games in a career

 

TUCSON, Ariz. ?- In a coaching career that includes a trophy case full of honors and accomplishments, University of Arizona men’s basketball coach Lute Olson secured another one on Saturday.

 

Olson, 70, became the 16th coach in basketball history to register 1,000 or more career victories when his Wildcats defeated Utah, 67-62, Saturday afternoon in McKale Center.  Now in his 47th season of coaching, Olson’s career record stands at 1,000-349 (.741).

 

“It’s something that will be a big deal once I’m retired and look back at the accomplishments,” said Olson.  “It’s been a long haul with 11 years on the high school level, four in junior college and 32 in Division I.”

 

Olson joins the list, which covers all levels of basketball from high school to professional, in unique fashion.  He is the only one of the 16 members to win a majority of his games on the collegiate level, as 717 of his 1,000 victories have come on the NCAA Division I level.  Of the other 15 coaches, nine earned the majority of wins in professional basketball, while six accomplished the feat exclusively on the high school level.

 

Olson’s Hall of Fame coaching career began in 1956-57 at Mahnomen (Minn.) High School with a team that went 22-3.  Success followed on every level as Olson’s teams have won better than 70 percent of its games on the high school, junior college and collegiate levels.

 

In addition to Mahnomen H.S., he coached at a total of five high schools in Minnesota and California and tallied a 180-76 (.703) record in 11 seasons.  He then spent four years (1969-73) at Long Beach (Calif.) City College where his charges posted a 103-22 (.824) record, including the 1971 California State Junior College championship.

 

From there, the remaining 32 seasons have been spent at the NCAA Division I level.  He guided Long Beach State to a 24-2 record in 1973-74 before taking the head coaching position at the University of Iowa.  In nine seasons In Iowa City (1974-83), Olson’s Hawkeye clubs amassed a 168-90 (.651) record.

 

Olson made his last move in March of 1983 when he accepted the head coaching responsibilities at the University of Arizona.  In 22 seasons, Olson has a 525-159 (.768) record to go with 10 Pacific-10 Conference regular season championships, four postseason Pac-10 titles, 20 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, four NCAA Final Four berths and the 1997 national championship.

 

All told, his NCAA Division I record stands at 717-251 (.741).  Olson’s teams have won or shared 11 conference championships, made 25 NCAA Tournament appearances and advanced to the Final Four five times.  In the 46-plus years on the sidelines, Olson’s clubs won 20 games 35 times.

 

“This victory brings back a lot of memories of a lot of nice young men and outstanding assistant coaches,” said Olson.  “It provides a nice flashback to some very memorable moments.”

 

The list of 1,000-game winners was compiled based on information provided by the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Federation of State High School Associations (HFHS) and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

 

Olson and the Wildcats will next be in action on Saturday, Dec. 18, when Arizona plays at Marquette.  Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. CST and can be seen nationally on ESPN.

 

Lute Olson’s Year-By-Year Coaching Record

 

School                                              Year            Record              Pct.                    Conf.                    Finish                     Postseason

Mahnomen (Minn.) H.S.                        1956-57          22-3                  .880

Two Harbors (Minn.) H.S.                      1957-58          10-11                .476

Two Harbors (Minn.) H.S.                      1958-59          14-8                  .636

Two Harbors (Minn.) H.S.                      1959-60          8-11                  .421

Two Harbors (Minn.) H.S.                      1960-61          4-16                  .200

Baseline (Colo.) Junior High School        1961-62          not in coaching

Western (Calif.) H.S.                            1962-63         assistant coach

Loara (Calif.) H.S.                                1963-64         16-4                   .800

Marina-Huntington Beach (Calif.) H.S.     1964-65         18-6                   .750

Marina (Calif.) H.S.                               1965-66         21-5                   .808

Marina (Calif.) H.S.                               1966-67         20-4                   .833

Marina (Calif.) H.S.                               1967-68         27-4                   .871

Marina (Calif.) H.S.                               1968-69         20-4                   .833

Long Beach City College                        1969-70         25-6                   .806                                             1st

Long Beach City College                        1970-71         27-5                   .844                                             1st                           California Junior College Champions

Long Beach City College                        1971-72         24-4                   .857                                             2nd

Long Beach City College                        1972-73         27-7                   .794                                             1st

Long Beach State                                  1973-74         24‑2                   .923

Iowa                                                     1974-75         10‑16                 .385                  7-11                     7th

Iowa                                                     1975-76         19‑10                 .655                  9-9                       5th

Iowa                                                     1976-77         20‑7                   .741                  12-6                     4th

Iowa                                                     1977-78         12‑15                  .444                  5-13                     8th

Iowa                                                     1978-79         20‑8                    .714                 13-5                     1st                           NCAA Mideast 1st Round

Iowa                                                     1979-80         23‑10                   .697                 10-8                     4th                          NCAA Final Four

Iowa                                                    1980-81          21‑7                     .750                 13-5                    2nd                          NCAA Midwest 2nd Round

Iowa                                                    1981-82          21‑8                     .724                 12-6                    2nd                          NCAA West 2nd Round

Iowa                                                    1982-83          22-9                     .710                 10-8                    T2nd                        NCAA Midwest Regional

Arizona                                                1983-84           11‑17                   .393                 8-10                    8th

Arizona                                                1984-85           21‑10                   .677                 12-6                    T3rd                         NCAA West 1st Round

Arizona                                                1985-86           23‑9                     .719                 14-4                    1st                          NCAA West 1st Round

Arizona                                                1986-87           18‑12                    .600                13-5                     2nd                         NCAA West 1st Round

Arizona                                                1987-88           35‑3                      .921                17-1                     1st                         NCAA Final Four

Arizona                                                1988-89           29‑4                      .879                17-1                     1st                         NCAA West Regional

Arizona                                                1989-90           25‑7                      .781                15-3                     T1st                       NCAA West 2nd Round

Arizona                                                1990-91           28‑7                      .800                14-4                     1st                         NCAA West Regional

Arizona                                                1991-92           24‑7                      .774                13-5                     3rd                         NCAA Southeast 1st Round

Arizona                                                1992-93           24‑4                      .857                17-1                     1st                         NCAA West 1st Round

Arizona                                                1993-94           29‑6                      .829                14-4                     1st                         NCAA Final Four

Arizona                                                1994-95           24-7                      .774                14-4                     2nd                         NCAA Midwest 1st Round

Arizona                                                1995-96           27-6                      .818                14-4                     2nd                         NCAA West Regional

Arizona                                                1996-97           25-9                      .735                11-7                     5th                          NCAA Champions

Arizona                                                1997-98           30-5                      .857                17-1                     1st                          NCAA West Regional Final

Arizona                                                1998-99           22-7                      .759                13-5                     2nd                         NCAA Midwest 1st Round

Arizona                                                1999-2000        27-7                      .794                15-3                     T1st                        NCAA West 2nd Round

Arizona                                                2000-01            25-6*                    .806                12-2*                    2nd                         NCAA Runner-up

Arizona                                                2001-02            24-10                    .706                12-6                     T2nd                       NCAA West Regional

Arizona                                               2002-03             28-4                      .875                17-1                     1st                         NCAA West Regional Final

Arizona                                               2003-04             20-10                     .667                11-7                     3rd                        NCAA Atlanta 1st Round

Arizona                                               2004-05             6-2                        .750

Overall                                              47 years            1,000-349               .741

 

*  Reflects Arizona record with Olson on the sideline.  UA was 28-8 overall and 15-3 in the Pac-10.  Olson took a five-game leave of absence during the year.  Associate head coach Jim Rosborough was credited with a 3-2 record in that span

 

Olson’s Career at a Glance

 

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