Olson Stands Out Among Pac-12 Dignitaries (Video)

During what can absolutely be considered a down year for Pac-12 men's basketball, a sense of star power is very much lacking in and around the 2012 Pacific Life Pac-12 Basketball Tournament. Because of this situation, it can be argued that the most recognizable and respected figure at this week's event is legendary former Arizona Wildcats coach Lute Olson.

This is particularly the case after the 2010 passing of the great John Wooden.

Wednesday, Olson, the 2002 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, was spotted at the JW Marriott Los Angeles LA Live. This property serves as the headquarter and team lodging hotel for the Pac-12 tourney, as it sits directly across the street from Staples Center.

Check out the scene per the above iFolloSports.com original video.

Olson coached the Wildcats from 1983-2008, winning the than Pac-10 regular season title 11 times, while appearing in four Final Fours ('88, '94, '97 & '01). Olson guided Arizona to 23 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

The Mayville, North Dakota native's greatest accomplishment took place in 1997, when he led U of A to its first-ever national championship.

Prior to arriving in Tucson, Olson spent 1974-1983 coaching the Iowa Hawkeyes, leading them to a Final Four appearance in 1980.

Including his one-year stint at Long Beach State (1973-1974 season), Olson amassed an outstanding record of 781 wins, with only 280 losses. This record places him tenth on the NCAA Division 1 all-time wins list.

These days, the 77-year-old is retired from coaching, but his legacy lives on as Arizona's home court at the McKale Center is officially named the “Lute and Bobbi Olson Court.” Bobbi Olson is Lute's wife of 47 years, who passed away in 2001.

In a present-day Pac-12 that includes well known coaches like Sean Miller, Ben Howland, Mike Montgomery and President Obama's brother-in-law Craig Robinson, Lute Olson's elder statesman status rises above anyone currently roaming the sidelines during this week's hoops gala in Los Angeles.