Thursday, October 23, 2008

Coach Olson Steps Down At Arizona!

Coach Max Ivany & Coach Lute Olson at this August's Arizona Elite Camp.

Just got off the phone with one of my players. It's confirmed, they just had a team meeting and Coach Olson is stepping down as Head Coach of the Arizona Wildcats. Reasons have not been confirmed, but my gut says it's health reasons. He is truly one of the gentlemen in this cut throat high stakes game of college basketball. He will be missed.

He was a players coach. I was priveleged to work his Elite Camp this past August. The number of former Wildcats who are pros who came and just hung out, out of respect for Coach was astounding. Mike Bibby, Sean Rooks, Saleem Stoudamire...all the guys were there. They were FAMILY.

Another friend of mine, Mike Dunlap will take over as the interim Head Coach. Much of the protocol, curriculum and testing for the All American Prodigy Camp and the Ranking Showcases was developed with the input of Coach Dunlap. He was an Assistant for the Denver Nuggets before returning to the college game this past year.

ESPN and other major media outlets beat around the bush and could not confirm this story until several hours past the time I'd posted it on our little old site here. Remember, if you want the NEWS, it's right here folks!

Also, they are reporting that the program may be in somewhat of disarray and that there may be decommitting of recruits. I assure you that this is not the case. Although it wasn't expected that Coach would step down today, the hiring of this experienced coaching staff was with the realization that Coach Olson would step down sooner than later. You heard it here that their recruiting class will be solid for the most part, ( give the credit to recruiter deluxe Assistant Coach Russ Pennell who has been an assistant at Ole Miss and Arizona State) although the top point guard in the country Abdul Gaddy could possibly wriggle off the hook. If he does there is only one other place he could end up and that's Memphis because of his relationship with former longtime Arizona Assistant, Josh Pastner.

Update: 10/27/08

Well, I was right on some stuff, wrong on other's. Coach Dunlap passed on the Head job and they installed another friend of mine, Russ Pennell as the Interim. I got to know Coach Pennell extremely well when he and I guided Texas D-1 Ambassador Garland Judkins through the recruiting maze and he was the one who offered Judkins hid scholarship through a phone call with me. He's a sincere guy and a straight shooting decent moral human being. U of A is making it tough on themselves though with this seeming instability, so the 2009 commits are now jumping ship.