PHOENIX (AP) -Kevin O'Neill will succeed Lute Olson as Arizona's basketball coach when the Hall of Famer retires.
O'Neill, hired as an assistant last May, has served as the 19th-ranked Wildcats' interim coach since the 73-year-old Olson went on a personal leave of absence Nov. 4 - a leave he recently extended through the end of the season.
Athletic director Jim Livengood made the announcement Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation that O'Neill would eventually succeed Olson, who has said he plans to return next season.
``Kevin is our coach for now, and will be our coach in the future when Lute decides to retire,'' Livengood said in a statement.
The 50-year-old O'Neill went 152-165 (.475) in 11 seasons as the coach at Marquette, Tennessee and Northwestern. Arizona is 7-2 under O'Neill this season.
``It's an unbelievable honor to follow Lute Olson,'' O'Neill said in a statement. ``I'm thrilled to get the opportunity and will work to continue the superb tradition of Arizona basketball when Lute is done.''
Olson is 589-187 (.759) in 24 seasons at Arizona and has led the Wildcats to 23 straight NCAA tournament appearances, the nation's longest active streak. Arizona won the 1997 national title under Olson.
Advertisement

NCAAB Headlines

NCAAB Top Stories

Thumbnail Stanford vs. Oregon Prediction No. 11 Oregon hosts Stanford at 6:00PM ET tonight - will the game be low-scoring for bettors?
Thumbnail South Carolina vs. Kentucky Pick No. 24 South Carolina will be in Lexington this evening when it visits No. 5 Kentucky at 6:00PM ET. Will the Wildcats cover?
Thumbnail West Virginia vs. Kansas State Pick No. 7 West Virginia lost to Oklahoma at home earlier this week but will the Mountaineers rebound versus Kansas State tonight at 6:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Arizona vs. UCLA Pick Can No. 14 Arizona put a crack in the armor of No. 3 UCLA when the two meet today at 4PM ET?
Thumbnail Gophers prepare for ascending Badgers After a 12-1 start, Minnesota has hit a slight bump in the road. Can Richard Pitino’s program recover just in time for Saturday’s highly anticipated meeting...

NCAAB Team Pages