Legendary Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson, who led the Wildcats to a 1997 National Championship and four Final Fours over the course of 25 years, passed away on Thursday evening. He was 85-years-old.
Olson was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, and helped guide numerous Wildcats to the NBA, including Steve Kerr, Jason Terry, Richard Jefferson, and many others.
He also had a great relationship with former Sun Devil coach Bill Frieder dating back to their coaching days in the Big Ten, and the duo had memorable commercials that they starred in together (see below).
Here is a look at the social media reaction from fellow Sun Devils on the passing of the Arizona coach:
Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bobby Hurley
Sad to learn about the passing of Lute Olson. One of the all time greats! RIP ❤️ https://t.co/L0tRkmCWJV— Bobby Hurley (@BobbyHurley11) August 28, 2020
Women’s Basketball Coach Charli Turner Thorne
Lute Olson coached with great grace & perspective, from his funny commercials with Bill Frieder to the phenomenal success his players went on to have. The accomplishments of his teams were a product of his passion for teaching & incredible commitment to his players & community. https://t.co/meEBo3bjBY— Charli Turner Thorne (@ASUCoachCharli) August 28, 2020
ASU Play-by-Play Announcer Tim Healey
Prayers up from Sun Devil Nation for Hall-of-Fame former UA MBB coach Lute Olson. Lute was always gracious with his time visiting with me for pregame interviews when ASU played his Wildcats. The 1990’s Bank One commercials with Lute & Bill Frieder were TV classics! pic.twitter.com/VEtXAI1idP— Tim Healey (@TimHealeyASU) August 26, 2020
Sun Devil Play-by-Play Broadcaster Jeff Munn
Rivalries are part of what makes college sports great. Out of those rivalries come unique bonds, and yes, deep friendships. My heart goes out to my many friends in Tucson whose lives were made better by coming in contact with Lute Olson. RIP Coach.— Jeff Munn (@MunnyBall) August 28, 2020
ASU Football Associate Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator Antonio Pierce
Former ASU Guard Brad Nahra
RIP Lute Olson. A great man. The day Coach O walked in to our breakfast room in Oregon and went thu the entire buffet, only to turn around to a room full of Sun Devils staring at him was one of my favorite moments at ASU! Handled it with a smile and class as usual. @DougTammaro— Brad Nahra (@bnahra) August 28, 2020
Statement From Arizona State Men’s Basketball Program
ASU Color Commentator and Former Guard Kyle Dodd
Thoughts and prayers to Lute Olson’s family and to @APlayersProgram for their loss tonight!!! Coach O was a good man and great for our game of college hoops. @uarizona lost a legend!!! RIP Coach pic.twitter.com/fDMhwttMx0— Kyle Dodd (KD) (@K_Dodd3) August 28, 2020
For more stories, memories, and recollections of Olson and his legacy at Arizona, check out our SB Nation family at Arizona Desert Swarm.