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Big hunt planned for UA coach; questions remain

Citizen Staff Writer

MIKE CHESNICK

mchesnic@tucsoncitizen.com

A national search has begun to replace Lute Olson, who retired Thursday as Arizona basketball coach after a 25-year run that included an NCAA title in 1997.

In the meantime, fans are left with several questions:

• Will UA associate head coach Mike Dunlap, a former Denver Nuggets assistant, be the interim coach for the season?

“We have to move quickly,” UA Athletics Director Jim Livengood said. “I intend to recruit a coach who is worthy to inherit Lute’s astounding legacy.”

Citizen Web site readers offered suggested successors, including Gonzaga coach Mark Few.

• Did the health of Olson, 74, affect his decision to retire? He missed last season because of personal and medical-related concerns.

“At this stage in my life, I want to devote my time to my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends,” Olson said in a statement.

• When will fans see Olson next?

UA plans to hold a “celebratory event” in the near future involving former players and fans, said Livengood. He said he plans to hold a news conference with Olson and UA President Robert Shelton.

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