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Harold Olsen

Class of 2008


Harold Olsen

Harold Olsen

  • Harold Olsen

Birthdate: May 12, 1895
Birthplace: Rice Lake, Wisconsin
High School: Rice Lake (1913)
College: University of Wisconsin (1917)
Died: October 29, 1953
Year Inducted: 2008

Harold Olsen played for the University of Wisconsin from 1913-1917, earning All-Big Ten recognition as the Badgers won two conference titles. After coaching three years (1919-22) at Ripon College, he won five Big Ten championships and compiled a 265-81 record in 24 years (1922-46) as head coach at Ohio State. He served as the OSU head coach from 1922 until 1946. Olsen spearheaded efforts in 1939 to create an NCAA post-season national playoff, now known as the NCAA Tournament. He served as president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), chaired the NCAA basketball committee for eight years, and was a member of the 1948 U.S. Olympic Committee. He helped initiate the 10-second rule in 1937. Harold Olsen died on October 29, 1953. He was enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959.