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Citizen Staff Report

The last two years have been a whirlwind for UA basketball fans, players and coaching staffs:


March 16: UA loses in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Purdue 72-63 in what would be Lute Olson’s final game as coach.

April 20: Longtime Olson assistant Jim Rosborough is reassigned in the athletic department.

May 1: Kevin O’Neill, a UA assistant coach during the Cats’ first Final Four run, is hired as an assistant.

Nov. 4: Olson takes a leave of absence for personal reasons. It lasts the season, and O’Neill is elevated to head coach and named Olson’s eventual successor, although it’s an oral agreement.


March 10: Olson says he will return for the 2008-09 season and plans to coach through 2011, when he’s 76. Olson admits he had a “nonthreatening” medical condition.

March 16: UA earns its 24th straight NCAA bid, but loses to West Virginia in the first round.

May: Olson reshuffles his coaching staff, adding Denver Nuggets assistant Mike Dunlap, former ASU assistant Russ Pennell and ex-UA guard Reggie Geary. Miles Simon is let go, and Josh Pastner takes a job at Memphis. O’Neill takes an assistant’s job with the NBA’s Grizzlies.

Oct. 24: Olson, 74, announces his retirement.

Oct. 25: Pennell is named UA’s interim head coach after Dunlap turns down the job. Athletic director Jim Livengood starts a nationwide search for a permanent head coach.

Oct. 28: Olson’s doctor announces the coach suffered a ministroke in the past year.


March 15: UA earns its 25th straight NCAA tourney bid. The No. 12-seeded Wildcats beat No. 5 Utah in the first round and Cleveland State in the second round before losing to Louisville in the Sweet 16.

March 30: Pennell and Dunlap leave UA, with Dunlap getting an assistant’s job at Oregon. Geary is left to keep alive UA’s recruiting efforts.

April 1: USC coach Tim Floyd visits Tucson and is offered the job but turns it down a day later.

April 5: UA athletic director Jim Livengood and school president Robert Shelton meet Xavier coach Sean Miller in New Mexico. After flying back to Cincinnati, Miller apparently tells FoxSports.com that he has turned down the UA job.

April 6: Miller has a change of heart after sleeping on it. UA apparently sweetens its financial incentives, and Miller accepts the UA job at a news conference at Xavier at about 1:30 p.m. Tucson time.

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This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

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