Fall 1934

Robert Luther Olson is born Sept. 22 in Mayville, N.D.

Fall 1939

Olson's father, Albert, dies of a stroke at age 47. His brother, Amos, dies in a tractor accident the next spring.

Summer 1940

Olson's mother, Alinda, sells the family farm and moves to Mayville, N.D.

Winter 1952

Leads Grand Forks (N.D.) Central High School to Class A state basketball championship.

Fall 1952

Enrolls at Augsburg College. Plays four years of football and basketball and one year of baseball.

Fall 1953

Marries Roberta (Bobbi) Russell on Thanksgiving Day.

Summer 1956

Named head coach at Mahnomen (Minn.) High School.

Summer 1957

Named head coach at Two Harbors (Minn.) High School.

Summer 1961

Moves to Boulder, Colo., to be a middle-school guidance counselor.

Summer 1962

Moves from Boulder to Huntington Beach, Calif.

Fall 1962

Coaches the freshman basketball team at Western High School in Anaheim, Calif.

Fall 1963

Named varsity coach at Loara High School, Anaheim.

Fall 1964

Named head coach at Marina-Huntington Beach High School.

Summer 1969

Named head coach at Long Beach (Calif.) City College

Spring 1973

Named head coach at Long Beach State

Spring 1974

Named head coach at Iowa

Spring 1979

Named Big Ten Conference coach of year; Hawkeyes finish 20-8, share Big Ten title and reach NCAA tournament

Spring 1980

Hawkeyes beat Georgetown to reach Final Four; finish 23-10

Spring 1983

Named head coach at Arizona

Fall 1983

Beats Northern Arizona 72-65 in first regular-season game.

Spring 1985

Arizona finishes 21-10, reaches NCAA tournament.

Spring 1986

Arizona wins Pac-10 Conference and finishes 23-9.

Summer 1986

Coaches USA Basketball to a gold medal in the world championships.

Spring 1988

Arizona reaches Final Four, finishes 35-3. Olson named national coach of the year.

Spring 1989

Top-ranked Arizona loses 68-67 to UNLV in West Regional semifinal. Arizona finishes 29-4.

Spring 1990

Arizona loses to Alabama in the second round of the NCAA tournament and finishes 25-7.

Spring 1991

Arizona wins Pac-10, reaches Sweet 16 and finishes 28-7.

Spring 1992

Arizona loses to East Tennessee State in first round of NCAA tournament and finishes 24-7.

Spring 1993

Arizona loses to 15th-seeded Santa Clara in first round of NCAA tournament and finishes 24-4.

Spring 1994

Arizona reaches second Final Four, finishing 29-6.

Spring 1995

Arizona loses in overtime to Miami (Ohio) in first round of NCAA tournament and finishes 24-7.

Spring 1996

Arizona reaches Sweet 16, losing to Kansas in West Region semifinal, finishes 27-6.

Spring 1997

Arizona defeats three No. 1 NCAA tournament seeds en route to national championship, finishes 25-9.

Spring 1998

Arizona goes 17-1 in Pac-10 but loses to Utah 76-51 in the West Region finals, finishes 30-5 overall.

Summer 1998

Bobbi Olson diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Spring 1999

Arizona upset by 13th-seeded Oklahoma 61-60 in first round of NCAA tournament.

Feb. 26, 2000

Floor at McKale Center renamed "Lute Olson Court'' (later changed to Lute & Bobbi Olson Court).

Spring 2000

Arizona upset by Wisconsin 66-59 in second round of NCAA tournament.

Winter 2001

Takes leave of absence to be with ailing wife. Bobbi Olson dies on New Year's Day. The coach returns on Jan. 15.

Spring 2001

Arizona reaches NCAA championship game for second time, finishes 28-8 after losing in final.

Spring 2002

Arizona wins Pac-10 tournament, reaches Sweet 16 and finishes 24-10.

January 2003

Proposes to Christine Toretti.

March 29, 2003

Arizona loses 78-75 to Kansas in the West Regional final after holding the nation's No. 1 rating for most of the season.

April 12, 2003

Olson marries Toretti, 46.

Nov. 24, 2003

Olson wins 500th game at UA, 107-73 over Northern Arizona.

Jan. 3, 2004

Earns career victory No. 700 with a 93-74 win at Arizona State.

March 5, 2004

Olson agrees to four-year contract extension through 2009.

March 18, 2004

UA blows a 14-point lead in the second half, loses to Seton Hall in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

March 26, 2005

Third-seeded UA blows a 15-point lead with four minutes to go, then loses in overtime to Illinois 90-89 in Elite Eight.

Dec. 19, 2005

UA's streak of 312 regular-season appearances in Associated Press Top 25 poll ends.

March 9, 2006

Arizona Board of Regents votes to extend Olson's contract from 2009 to 2011.

March 19, 2006

UA's season ends in 82-78 loss to top-seeded Villanova in second round of NCAA tournament at Philadelphia.

March 16, 2007

UA exits NCAA tournament with a first-round loss to Purdue.

April 21, 2007

Olson moves longtime aide Jim Rosborough off the coaching staff.

May 1, 2007

Kevin O'Neill is named assistant coach, with a salary of $375,000.

Nov. 4, 2007

Olson announces a leave of absence for "a personal matter." O'Neill is named interim head coach.

Dec. 6, 2007

Olson extends his leave of absence for the rest of the season and files for divorce from his second wife, Christine.

March 16, 2008

Cats earn NCAA tournament bid for the 24th straight year, a No. 10 seed in the West Region.

March 24, 2008

Olson returns to work. A week later, he announces O'Neill will not return.

May 15, 2008

Olson hires Denver Nuggets aide Mike Dunlap as an assistant coach.

Oct. 1, 2008

Olson announces his engagement to Kelly Pugnea, 47, at a fundraiser.


Olson retires following 24 seasons as the UA's head coach. No successor is named.