PHOENIX — Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, who guided both the University of Iowa and the University of Arizona to the NCAA Final Four, is the 2017 recipient of the NABC Hillyard Golden Anniversary Award for more than 50 years of outstanding service to men’s college basketball. The National Association of Basketball Coaches will present the storied award to Olson at the annual AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show on Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix. The awards show will be live streamed on Twitter.
Olson, who also coached at Long Beach City College and Long Beach State, was a two-time Big Ten coach of the year at Iowa. His Hawkeyes won the Big Ten title in 1979 and earned a berth in the NCAA Final Four in 1980. He guided Iowa to five straight NCAA tournament appearances and left the Hawkeyes as the winningest coach in school history with a 168-90 record.
In 1983, Olson accepted the men’s basketball coaching position at Arizona and quickly achieved national prominence for the program. In just his second season in Tucson, the Wildcats recorded their first winning season in six years, which would begin a string of 23 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
A 10-time PAC-10 coach of the tear, Olson’s teams appeared in the Final Four five times and the Wildcats won the NCAA championship in 1997.
Olson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
A complete list of NABC Hillyard Golden Anniversary Award recipients is available at nabc.org/awards/golden.