It is with great sadness that the University of Louisville men’s basketball program has learned of the passing of former Cardinal greats Bud Olsen and Howard Stacey.
Olsen passed away on March 12 while Stacey passed away on March 5.
A 6-foot-8 center, Olsen scored 1,192 career points in his three seasons with the Cardinals. He averaged 20.8 points per game his senior year in 1961-62, which ranks as the eighth highest in UofL history. He helped the Cards to the NCAA Regional Semifinals in 1961 before falling to eventual runner-up Ohio State.
Olsen was selected by the Cincinnati Royals in the second round of the 1962 NBA draft. He played seven seasons in the NBA with the Royals, San Francisco Warriors, Seattle Super Sonics, Boston Celtics, and Detroit Pistons, averaging 4.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. He spent the 1969–70 season with the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association.
Stacey, a starting guard in 1959, played on UofL’s first NCAA Final Four basketball team in 1959. In 1961 he was drafted by the NBA’s St. Louis Hawks in the third round, turning down the offer to stay in Louisville and teach and coach at Durrett High School.
He returned to the University of Louisville as an assistant coach on John Dromo’s staff. He became the Cardinals’ interim head coach on Jan. 3, 1971, following Dromo’s heart attack after nine games into the season. Stacey finished the final 20 games with a 12-8 record. He went on to accept an offer to be the head coach at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Stacey’s college coaching career ended in 1974.
Memorial visitation for Stacey will be Thursday, March 15, between 2-6 p.m. at Ratterman Funeral Home East Louisville, 12900 Shelbyville Rd. A Celebration of Life will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 15.
Olsen’s arrangement has not been announced.