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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hundreds of fans line up for Lute Olson’s first book signing

    About 300 people attended the first book signing by Lute Olson for his recently released memoir, “”Lute! The Seasons of My Life,”” at the UofA Bookstore yesterday.

    Most people were lined up at 11 a.m., an hour before the signing session began, but some of the most dedicated fans came much earlier, said Ann Wolnick, a public relations employee for the bookstore.

    “”Right when the bookstore opened the doors at 7:30 a.m., we had a handful of people eager to stake out their spot in line,”” Wolnick said.

    Olson, the Arizona men’s basketball coach since 1983, wrote about his personal life and career in the new memoir.

    Copies of Olson’s book were released to the UofA Bookstore Sept. 28, but yesterday was the first day that other bookstores began selling the book, Wolnick said.

    More than 350 copies of the book had been sold at the bookstore by Monday night, Wolnick said.

    The book describes Olson’s upbringing in a small town in North Dakota; his difficulties in establishing his career in basketball; winning a National Championship with the Wildcats; the death of his wife of 47 years, Bobbi Olson; and his new wife and source of inspiration, Christine Olson.

    Olson teamed up with bestselling author David Fisher to work on the book, which took two years to complete, he said.

    “”Writing some parts was fun, while others were more difficult,”” Olson said. “”There was a lot of emotion put into the book, as well as good memories.””

    Olson felt that it was an appropriate time in his life to write a book, he said.

    “”Previously, I had had people propose the idea of writing a book about my life experiences, but I was not particularly interested,”” Olson said. “”Now that Christine and I are starting a $50 million fundraiser for the Arizona Cancer (Center), I felt that a book would be a good way to give this fundraiser a boost,”” he said.

    The book also gave him the opportunity to write about family, including his first wife Bobbi, who died from ovarian cancer, Olson said.

    “”The major point that I want to push across in the book is the importance of family,”” he said. “”I also wanted to give the fans an idea of what my job really entails and emphasize why working at the UA and the young people here make it so worthwhile.””

    Fans patiently stood in line as they waited for a chance to exchange a few words and take a picture with the Hall of Fame coach.

    “”I have always been a huge fan of Lute, and I wanted to get a copy of his book and get it signed for my dad,”” said Graven Prest, a pre-business freshman. “”I think it is pretty cool that he is giving his time to sign books because this shows that he is close with his fans and that he has a great relationship with the community.””

    Katy Mullens, a biochemistry and molecular biophysics senior, was getting her book signed as a gift for her sister, but she said she plans to read it as well.

    “”I have met his current wife, Christine, and I am interested to see how she fits into his life and learn more about his family and personal life,”” said Mullens. “”I think this is a great idea to promote his book, especially because the proceeds are going to a good cause,”” she said.

    I also wanted to give the fans an idea of what my job really entails and emphasize why working at the UA and the young people here make it so worthwhile.
    – Lute Olson, UA basketball coach

    “”Lute!: The Seasons of My Life,”” is on sale at the bookstore for $24.95, with a large portion of the proceeds going to the Bobbi Olson Fund at the Arizona Cancer Center to help find cures for women’s cancers.

    Olson will hold two more book-signing sessions on the main floor of the UofA Bookstore, today from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and on Oct. 20 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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