Social Media Reactions of Lute Olson’s Passing

Hall of Fame Arizona coach Lute Olson has passed away at 85, but his legendary status in Tucson and this state will live on forever. His impact is immeasurable.

These are some of the social media reactions of Olson’s passing which indicate how much he touched so many:

Steve Kerr to his former coach: “I love you!”

The pinnacle of Olson’s career:

Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea is a legend in his own right who started coaching the Wildcats when Olson was starting to take the program to great heights:

Arizona legend Damon Stoudamire with a brief but meaningful message:

Corey Williams with a touching video of Olson:

Joan Bonvicini, who has the most wins as a coach of Arizona women’s basketball, comments on the men’s basketball career leader:

Tom Tolbert, a member of Arizona’s first Final Four team in 1987-88, was one who got a rise out of Olson every now and then but it was a healthy relationship:

Arizona alum Jeff Goodman broke the story of Olson’s passing tonight:

Sean Miller mentioned of Olson that he was more than a coach to his players and a leader of the community:

Along with our site’s Steve Rivera, Bruce Pascoe had a lengthy time covering Olson more than anyone:

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey comments on Olson, who could have been elected to any office in Arizona if he ever wanted that.

Josh Pastner walked on at Arizona and later earned a scholarship just to learn his coaching craft from Olson:

The two most legendary coaches in Pac-10/12 history — Olson and John Wooden — are together again:

Message from the John Wooden Award — great choice of photo to go with it:

Bennett Davison trying to mess up the hair of Olson again — only this time it’s impossible with Olson’s statue:

Channing Frye developed immensely under Olson:

Arizona president Robert C. Robbins said Olson displayed “integrity and compassion in every endeavor”:

Pueblo High School, ASU and NBA legend Lafayette “Fat” Lever who praises Olson for what he brought to the city where he was raised:

ASU coach Bobby Hurley, who played in classic games against Olson’s Arizona teams in the early 1990s while at Duke, calls the legendary coach one of the all-time best:

ASU with a classy message:

Adia Barnes is building the type of hysteria with the women’s program that Olson did with the men in the 1980’s:

John Calipari’s message:

Olson’s granddaughter Julie Brase was a legendary player at Catalina Foothills and Arizona and she is now an assistant with the Mercury:

Olson came to Arizona after building Iowa into a Final Four program in only nine years there:

More former player reactions:

Reggie Geary on Facebook:

Today is an extremely sad day as we say goodbye to our Hall of Fame Coach Lute Olson. Coach O meant the world to me and my family. My whole adult life Coach has been a powerful voice and mentor for me. At every major event of my life and countless others’ lives, Coach was there to guide, encourage, and celebrate our biggest accomplishments. As a player, he saw my value and allowed me to blossom in his system. As a coach, he gave me my first professional job. He will be greatly missed by so many, and that’s a true testament to his life as not only a brilliantly successful coach but also a family man and community icon. I am grateful I had the opportunity to be coached, taught, mentored, and respected by such a legendary man. Candace and I send our condolences to the entire Olson family. #uofabasketball #family #coacholson #hof #ripcoach #bobbi #beardown

Eugene Edgerson on Facebook:

It feels like yesterday you were in my front room (living room) in our shotgun house in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, offering me an opportunity to play for you at the UofA. I remember telling you that I would graduate in 4 years (I did) and I’d be happy to play for you. You told my mother Susan, who was a single parent, that I would be in good hands and she trusted you. You did not let her down! Because of the instant connection you had with her and me following my heart, my life was forever changed in an extraordinary way. Removing basketball teachings out of the equation, you had a lot to do with my overall success in life as a person. From you, I learned more about the importance of family, team work, leadership, professionalism, accountability, hard work (mediocrity is never acceptable), service to others, and class (through winning and defeat). I am constantly surrounding myself with good people because of you. You said, “Good people will find a way to be successful. Bad people will find a way to mess things up.” Ch. O, I found a way to be successful thanks to your guidance and I will continue to do my best to stop bad people from constantly messing up so they can be successful. I always knew you had a strong impact on my life but now, it’s really starting to hit home. Love you Ch. O. Rest easy. ❤️💙

Ben Davis on Facebook:

Thank you coach for all of the lessons. The basketball was such a small part of it. I’m sure I am not the only one that feels that way. Thank you for the confidence you instilled in all of us. Thank you for being an example of what a man should be. While I am extremely sad I know that you are back with Mrs.Olson and will be watching over us all. ❤❤😔😔🙏🏿🙏🏿🐻👎🏿

A.J. Bramlett on Facebook:

Needed some time to reflect on the impact this man had on my life. I chose these pictures for different reasons. First off I am happy that my kids were able to meet and spend time with Coach to see the type of man he was and why I hold him in such high regard. They still talk about meeting him til this day and how caring and nice he was to them. That was Coach O. He cared about family. He cared about values. He cared about people. He cared about winning. He cared about details. He cared about Tucson. He cared about all of us. I posted the pic of Salim and I because in this photo was the first time I had met Salim but it looks like we’ve known each other for years. Lifelong friends laughing and reminiscing about old times. That connection is what Coach O built. Any Wildcat player from any generation is like an instant family member once you were a part of the program. So many wonderful players, men, fathers, and community members were developed by Coach that his impact will continue to resonate through all of us, our kids, and their kids for life. Thank you Coach O for being the man you were and coming into and staying in our lives for all these years. Bear Down Lute amd Bear Down AZ!

Matt Othick on Facebook:

I will miss you Coach O ! You blessed me with your knowledge of the game . You gave our teams your heart and soul . You instilled a confidence in us we didn’t know we had . You made us better basketball players and men ! Thank you ! I love you ! May You Rest In Peace.

Takes legends to know one:

Brandon Sanders, a former football player, who last year lost legendary coach Dick Tomey:

National media reactions:


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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