Kelly Pugnea Wiki – Biography
Kelly Pugnea is the wife of Lute Olson, an American basketball coach, who was inducted into both the Basketball Hall of Fame the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Olson was hospitalized in 2019 after suffering a stroke and was moved into hospice care in early 2020.
Olson led the Wildcats to the 1997 national championship and coached his team to three additional Final Four appearances. Olson won national Coach of the Year honors five times.
Olson had 781 career coaching wins, with a record of 589-187 in Arizona. Olson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
University of Arizona Director of Athletics Dave Heeke said in a statement, “Coach (Olson) was an iconic figure in college basketball who put the University of Arizona’s basketball program on the map. Yet his legacy extends well beyond the court. He impacted thousands of lives, inspiring young men to reach beyond their potential and instilling service to others as a cornerstone of a person’s character. He will be greatly missed by all who love the University of Arizona.”
Kelly Pugnea Age
Kelly Pugnea is 58 years old.
Kelly Pugnea and Lute Olson
Kelly and Lute Olson got married back in 2010 when Olson was then 74 years old and kelly 47. At the time of their marriage, she is a mother of two boys who has lived in Tucson for the last 25 years. Olson was previously married to Christine Jack Toretti in 2003. On December 6, 2007, Olson filed for divorce from his second wife, Christine.
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His first marriage was to Roberta “Bobbi” Russell whom he married in 1953. They were married for 47 years and had five children. Bobbi Olson died on January 1, 2001, of ovarian cancer, aged 65. The basketball court at UA is named the Lute and Bobbi Olson Court in her honor.
Lute Olson Death & Cause
As we all learned this week (late in August 2020), Lute Olson has been in hospice care and Thursday, August 27th, he passed away. He leaves behind an immense legend.
Olson was born in North Dakota to a Norwegian family, he started out in high school coaching before moving to Long Beach City College. He was highly successful there and quickly moved to Long Beach State, where he inherited one of the first messes left by Jerry Tarkanian. After one 24-2 season, he was off to Iowa where he lasted nine years before the fishbowl environment got to him.
“Lute Olson was so much more than a basketball coach,” said the University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “He was an educator, a motivator, a husband, a father, a grandfather and a friend to so many. He was a true leader in every sense of the word and displayed such integrity and compassion in every endeavor. While Coach will no longer be with us, his presence will be felt for generations to come. On behalf of the University of Arizona, our community, and generations of Wildcat fans, we extend our thoughts and prayers to the Olson family.”