Harold G. Olsen

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. Before becoming a coach in 1918, Olsen was a Helms Foundation First Team All- America at Wisconsin in 1917. 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 in 1925, 1939, 1944, and 1946. Olsen led Ohio State to the NCAA Tournament four times, including a second place finish in 1939, the first year the tournament was held. Olsen later coached the Chicago Stags to the first Basketball Association of America Finals in 1947.