FAMILY AFFAIRS KEEP OLSON OUT FOR REST OF SEASON: Lute Olson’s indefinite absence is now definite, as the Arizona coach announced he will sit out the remainder of the season:
The ARIZONA REPUBLIC reports that Olson told the Tucson school he would be gone for the rest of the year, but said he plans to be back courtside next season.When asked for reasons for Olson’s prolonged absence, university president Dr. Robert Shelton said, “All I know is that it has to do with issues within the family.”
Assistant Kevin O’Neill, who already earned experience coaching collegiate Wildcats during his Northwestern days, will remain the de facto leader.
The absence will be the longest in Lute’s coaching career since he missed 5 games in 2000-01 to be with his ailing wife Bobbi, who eventually passed away from ovarian cancer.
LUTE ZIPS OUT OF ‘ZONA; ASST. LIKES ‘EM YOUNG & DUMB: Lute Olson won’t be acting catty in the McKale Center for a while, as the Arizona coach has taken a leave of absence:
The ARIZONA REPUBLIC shoots news that the 73-year-old basketball coach told AD Jim Livengood that he would temporarily excuse himself from courtside. Both Olson and Livengood had said the absence wasn’t a health issue, but a “personal matter.”In the meantime, coaching duties will fall on Kevin O’Neill, who hopes this head coaching stint goes better than the last one. In his previous attempt, Kev lasted only one season running the Toronto Raptors:
O’Neill hopes the Wildcats don’t think too much about Lute’s departure, saying, “Young and dumb is a good thing to be sometimes. They want to play basketball, but they are very concerned for Coach.”You heard the interim coach, ‘Cats - Play dumb!