top of page

Iowa History Daily: March 25 - Lute's Last Game

Iowa History Daily: On March 25, 1983, Lute Olson coached his final game for the Hawkeyes. A Sweet Sixteen loss to Villanova, the game closed out a 21-10 season and one of the most decorated era’s of Iowa Hawkeye basketball.

Upon taking the Iowa job in 1974, Olson noted: "People didn't go from Long Beach to Iowa, they went from Iowa to Long Beach," Olson said. "I thought, 'well, I'm just going to break that trend.” Olson quickly turned around the Iowa basketball program and posting a 167-91 record while the head man for the Hawkeyes.

Taking over a team which went 8-16 the year prior, Olson’s Hawkeyes rose to capture the Big 10 Conference Title during the 1978-1979 season. The title led to the first of five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances for Iowa, including a Final Four appearance during the 1979-1980 season. 

After leading the Hawkeyes to the Final Four, Olson's Hawkeye teams continued to find success, including advancing to the Sweet Sixteen in the 1982-1983 season, his final at Iowa. Olson surprised many by leaving Iowa for an Arizona program that had just suffered the worst season in school history, having won only four games all season and one game in Pac-10 play. He said he left Iowa because life there had become a "fishbowl" and he needed a change. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


bottom of page