Sources: Lute Olson to Retire?

Posted by rtmsf on October 23rd, 2008

A mere two days after making comments to the media that he was “fired up” to be back for a new season, the Lute Olson Soap Opera continued in earnest today.  ESPN (through Rays megafan Dick Vitale) is reporting that Olson is retiring from Arizona after 24 seasons at the school.  (h/t The Big Lead)

Arizona’s Lute Olson is stepping down as the school’s men’s basketball coach, a source has told ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale.  Associate coach Mike Dunlap will take over the head coaching duties on an interim basis, the source told Vitale.

As of mid-morning Pacific time, Arizona officials are vehemently denying these reports.  From the Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA sports information director Tom Duddleston said the news is not true.  “Dick Vitale is wrong right now,” Duddleston said in a phone interview with the Daily Wildcat.  When asked if there is any indication that any of the reports may be true, Duddleston said no.

(photo credit: Flickr)

This comes on the heels of a report that Olson missed practice and his annual Rotary Club Luncheon yesterday because he was sick.  Sick as in, a cold sick, not something more serious, according to Arizona sources. 

The reports further claim that Mike Dunlap, a current assistant coach for Olson, will take over the reins as the head man.  Dunlap’s previous head coaching experience was at D2 Metro State in Denver, where he was an astonishing 248-50 (.832) with two national titles at that level (2000 and 2002).

We’ll see how this shakes down as the day matures, but it has all the earmarks of a solid scoop.  Olson’s recent history of mania notwithstanding, we do hope that his medical condition is treatable and something that will allow him to continue to enjoy a happy, fulfilling life. 

rtmsf (3728 Posts)


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4 Responses to “Sources: Lute Olson to Retire?”

  1. haha, et tu lute says:

    I don’t know which senile clown to trust on this one…. Vitale is known more for his catch phrases than his journalism.

    Funny parody ripping Vitale and ESPN: http://tinyurl.com/5zrt8n

  2. any solid leads on who the replacement might be?

    Jesse W.
    http://www.churchofcowherd.com

  3. rtmsf says:

    No, nothing solid. The AZ fans are chirping about some usual suspects – Mark Few, Calipari, even Steve Lavin. Who would leave their school at this point of the preseason, though? Hey, Bob Knight’s available!

  4. Patrick Marshall says:

    So when do the transfers start happening? There are a lot of upset players and familes.. http://www.azcentral.com/sports/ua/articles/2008/10/23/20081023spt-lute.html

    And then here is a great timeline of recent events.

    http://www.azcentral.com/sports/ua/articles/2008/10/23/20081023spt-olsontimeline.html

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