Lute Olson Named Finalist for Naismith Coach of the Year Award

Feb. 26, 2003

TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona men's basketball coach Lute Olson was named a finalist for the 2003 Naismith College Basketball Coach of the Year Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Wednesday.

Olson was selected as one of 25 finalists for the award. He was joined on the list by Dana Altman (Creighton), Rick Barnes (Texas), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Ben Braun (California), Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Jim Calhoun (Connecticut), Tom Crean (Marquette), Billy Donovan (Florida), Jim Harrick (Georgia), Ben Howland (Pittsburgh), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Rick Majerus (Utah), Thad Matta (Xavier), Mike Montgomery (Stanford), Rick Pitino (Louisville), Skip Prosser (Wake Forest), Oliver Purnell (Dayton), Kelvin Sampson (Oklahoma), Bill Self (Illinois), Tubby Smith (Kentucky), Rick Stansbury (Mississippi State), Eddie Sutton (Oklahoma State), Gary Williams (Maryland), and Roy Williams (Kansas).

Olson, who has guided Arizona to a 21-2 overall record (13-1 Pac-10) and the No. 1 ranking in both major college basketball polls. His team collected its 20th win of the season on Jan. 15, which marked Olson's 25th 20-win season in 30 years as a college head coach. The Wildcats' 21-2 start equals the best start in school history.

The winner will be honored at the Naismith Awards to be held April 11, 2003, in Atlanta.

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