Harold G. Olsen

Enshrined 1959
Rice Lake, WI
Died: October 29, 1953


A prominent basketball administrator for more than 30 years, Harold Olsen spearheaded efforts in 1939 to create the NCAA postseason national playoffs, now known as the NCAA tournament. President of the NABC, chair of the NCAA Basketball Committee for eight years, and a member of the 1948 Olympic Committee, Olsen helped initiate the 10-second rule in 1937. As a coach, Olsen spent time at Ripon College (1919), where his teams won three conference titles, then Ohio State (1923-46), where his team shared the Big Ten Championship in 1933 with Northwestern and won four outright titles. Olsen later coached the Chicago Stags to the first Basketball Association of America Finals in 1947.

Career Highlights

Big Ten Championships with Ohio State, 1925, 1933, 1939, 1944, 1946
Helped found NCAA tournament, 1939
Chairman, NCAA Rules Committee
First Coach of Basketball Association of America Chicago Stags, 1946-49