TUCSON, Ariz. - Lute Olson has retired after 24 seasons with the Arizona Wildcats.
Athletic director Jim Livengood confirmed Olson's decision hours after news reports had started speculating about the 74-year-old Hall of Famer's future.
"This was not a decision that was made lightly," Olson said in a statement released Thursday by the university. "I've had a wonderful run at the University of Arizona. I leave with a great sense of pride in what we have accomplished here."
Speaking at a brief news conference at McKale Center, Livengood did not designate a successor - even on an interim basis. He said a national search would begin soon.
"I do not have a decision at this point in time in terms of who's going to head our men's basketball program," Livengood said. "But that will be announced in the very, very short future."
ESPN's Dick Vitale first reported the story, saying Olson, who won the 1997 national championship with the Wildcats, would be replaced by Mike Dunlap, an assistant who joined the program in May. Dunlap ran practice Thursday afternoon and declined to comment.
Olson, who also coached at Long Beach State and Iowa, missed last season, taking a personal leave of absence for what he called "a medical condition that was not life-threatening." Interim coach Kevin O'Neill led Arizona to a 19-15 record and the school's 24th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, the nation's longest active streak. Olson is 780-280 overall in 34 seasons as a Division I coach.
CINCINNATI: Freshman guard Cashmere Wright tore a knee ligament and is out for the season.
ARMY-NAVY: The annual game will be a week later starting in 2009. The rivalry will take place on the second Saturday in December, a week after all of the conference championship games. The academies and CBS announced an extension of their TV deal through 2018.
CONNECTICUT: Coach Randy Edsall said a decision won't be made until game time Saturday on whether quarterback Zach Frazer starts against Cincinnati. Frazer injured his head in last week's 12-10 loss at Rutgers.
TEXAS: Quarterback Colt McCoy told the Sporting News he will return for his senior season. "I'm going to play here for four years," the junior told the Web site.
TONIGHT: The past two years, San Jose State has been just a play away from spoiling the BCS dreams of Boise State and Hawaii, losing in the final seconds and in overtime, respectively. Heading into tonight's game against No. 13 Boise State, the host Spartans have bigger goals in mind. "People down here say, 'You got a chance to spoil Boise State's BCS thing.' I say that's the furthest thing from our mind," coach Dick Tomey said. "...We're trying to compete for the conference championship."
USF 12TH, UCONN FAVORED: In their preseason poll, Big East coaches picked USF to finish 12th. The Bulls tied for 11th last season at 5-11 (16-16 overall) and went to the WNIT. Connecticut was chosen as the favorite, earning 14 of 16 first-place votes.
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