TUCSON, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The University of Arizona announced Thursday that Lute Olson, the school's longtime men's basketball coach, has retired.
Olson, 74, had been with the school for 25 years.
After missing last season while taking a leave of absence during a contentious divorce, Olson decided less than a month prior to the start of the 2008-09 season that he had had enough.
"Today is about the past," Athletic Director Jim Livengood said at a news conference announcing Olson's decision. "Tomorrow is about the future."
Livengood did not say who would take Olson's place, although ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale reported associate coach Mike Dunlap would take over the program.
The Wildcats went 19-15 during Olson's absence last season and posted an 8-10 record in the Pac-10 Conference. It was the school's worst finish in the league since 1982-83, the season before Olson came to Arizona.
Nevertheless, Arizona earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament before being ousted in the first round by West Virginia. It was the school's 24th consecutive appearance in the tourney.
Olson had said this year he planned to return to the Arizona bench. His coaching career included stops at Iowa and Long Beach State. He has a career record of 589-187 and led his teams to the 1997 national title and four Final Four appearances.
He has taken 27 teams to the NCAA Tournament, one short of Bob Knight for the all-time record.