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Lute!: The Seasons of My Life Paperback – Bargain Price, October 30, 2007

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Early in his eighth decade of life, Lute Olson is still the face of basketball at the University of Arizona. Over the last 20 years, he has turned the once-moribund program into a perennial member of the nation's top 10. For a straitlaced gent of Scandinavian ancestry, this is a pretty spicy memoir. It features details of Olson's three love affairs: the first with basketball, the second with his late wife of 50 years, Bobbi, and the third with his second wife, Chris. Basketball fans will enjoy the cycles of playing-recruiting-playing as Olson constructs his teams, first at Iowa and then at Arizona. Olson soft-pedals his contributions to on, court success, deferring much to his assistants and to Bobbi, who acted as recruiting assistant, den mother to lonely kids away from home, and therapist to a certain mercurial basketball coach. Olson injects a sly sense of humor into this unusually thoughtful sports autobiography--the life of a successful basketball coach and an intelligent man, well told. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Lute Olson has been a college head coach for the last thirty years. In 2002 he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.


David Fisher has collaborated on more than a dozen New York Times bestsellers.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031235942X
  • ASIN: B003156BWM
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,231,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brian Goodner on November 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It really is an interesting book about Lute's years. It sometimes is a bit disjointed and jumps between years, but from the standpoint of getting his viewpoint on all of the games I remember watching over the years was definitely captivating. He talks about how he barely missed out on such recruits as Kevin Johnson and Reggie Miller, and also discusses how his team should have beat Magic's MSU team that ended up winning it all. It is also nice to read about Bobbi, and how she was so close to all the players, and how, once, when she was sick and they were trapped in Budapest, Robert Sarver (current Phoenix Suns owner) flew out there to help them out in a time of need.

I recommend this book to any college or pro basketball fan, but especially to those that are Arizona alum.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steve Emerine on December 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Even Tucsonans who thought they knew everything about their long-time University of Arizona basketball coach will learn some interesting things from this autobiography. In it, Lute Olson shares his thoughts as he offers behind-the-scenes looks into on-court events and his personal life during his 70+ years. His modesty grabs you almost immediately. His tolerance for journalists, players, coaches and officials who fell short of his standards becomes apparent as he recounts scores of incidents in his career. I was an assistant city editor at the Arizona Daily Star in 1985 when its sports department rushed into print with a libelous and untrue story on Olson that caused him to consider looking elsewhere. I was assigned to take over sports and right the ship. We had been dead wrong, and we said so. Fortunately for us and the University of Arizona, Olson finally forgave our error and decided to stay. This book deals with the incident more charitably than we deserved. His decision to stay at Arizona for more than 20 years after that was right for the UA and for him. He went on to win a national championship and election to basketball's Hall of Fame. If you're a fan, a current or former player, a one-time coach or just a lover of good stories, this book is for you. It's about a poor kid who worked hard, married his school sweetheart and did pretty well for himself and his family. He suffered three terrible losses in his life but rebounded each time. Lute Olson is worthy of a Hall Fame both inside and outside of basketball.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By My Opinion on January 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
You don't have to be an avid basketball fan to enjoy this book and appreciate the life of a good person. Like many of us, Lute Olson and his wife Bobbie, his high school sweetheart, start on life's journey, upon graduating from college. Starting with very little money, but with a love for basketball, a strong work ethic and moral values, Lute and Bobbie earn a very successful life together.

My first exposure to Lute Olson was when my daughter attended University of Arizona from 1983 to 1988. These were the formative years for Lute at U of A when he was building the Wildcat program. Everyone on campus was in love with the team...Steeve Kerrrr, Sean Elliot and others. I still remember a photo of the team in black tie titled, A Class Act.

Shortly after my daughter's graduation I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Lute Olson in 1990 at the Long Beach Arena during the initial rounds of the NCAA tournament while attending a U of A booster rally. I introduced myself and my wife to Lute and explained that my wife and I really enjoyed the program, but that the real reason I was at the arena was to watch my alma mater, Loyola Marymount University, compete. I fully expected Coach Olson to make some sort of macho remark about a small-time program being lucky. I couldn't have been more wrong. Instead, he was very complimentary of the program that Paul Westhead had put together in a short period of time. He was very gracious and friendly. This experience only seemed to validate the person I began to know and understand while reading the book.

The story Lute tells is also about two love stories. The first is about his life with his first wife Bobbie, who tragically dies of cancer after 47 years of marriage.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Taylor TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I just finished Lute! and thoroughly enjoyed what I read. Ironically, I finished the book a couple of days after the North Carolina Tar Heels (go Heels!) thrashed the Arizona Wildcats by 20 some odd points. Reckon this was payback for the times Arizona beat UNC in the March Madness Tournaments of years past.

Among the topics covered in the book were:

1. Lute Olson's early childhood and early love of basketball.

2. Various coaching jobs - high school, Long Beach State, Iowa, Arizona.

3. Relationships with certain coaches (Roy Williams, Bobby Knight, John Wooden, Al McGuire, Jerry Tarkanian, Pete Newell, etc.).

4. His long-time marriage to his first wife, Bobbi, whom he obviously loved very much and was deeply hurt by her passing.

5. His current marriage to Christine Torreti.

6. Relationships with various college basketball players.

7. Summaries of his various seasons at the colleges he coached at and how they ended (sometimes after a deep run in the NCAA tournament, sometimes, an early first-round exit).

8. Relationships with other family members and various friendships.

9. Description of his recruiting, publicity, and other basketball coach-related duties.

10. Several instances of good humor.

The book was a joy to read and I gained a deeper appreciation for Coach Olson. As a matter of fact, if I had a son who was college basketball material, I would count it a privilege if he played for Coach Olson at Arizona (assuming, of course, that none of the basketball powerhouses in the ACC were interested in him!).

All in all, a great read about a class act. Highly recommended.
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