Big 12 News

Oklahoma Coach Lon Kruger To Retire

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Oklahoma Sooners vs Rhode Island Rams

After nearly a decade in Oklahoma, Sooners basketball coach Lon Kruger is planning to retire.

The Oklahoma coach told Stadium that he would be retiring.

The Sooners lost to Gonzaga in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Monday after beating Missouri in the first round.

Kruger is 69 years old and has been at Oklahoma since the 2011-12 season. The Sooners reached the NCAA tournament in seven of his nine seasons and made the 2016 Final Four.

 

Career Trajectory

Kruger’s coached at a total of six schools and for 35 seasons. Kruger started at Texas-Rio Grande Valley for four seasons and then got his first big break at his alma mater Kansas State. He made the NCAA Tournament in all four seasons in Manhattan and then ended up at Florida in 1990, where he spent six seasons and reached the 1994 Final Four

Kruger moved to Illinois in 1996 where he spent another four seasons running that program before a brief stint in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks from 2000 to 2003. The Hawks never finished above .500 in any of his two-plus seasons with the team and he was fired 27 games into his third season.

Kruger returned to college coaching in 2004 at UNLV. He stayed with the Rebels for seven seasons and took the school to four NCAA tournaments before going to Oklahoma.

 

What Now?

Kruger’s retirement comes days after his son Kevin was named the head coach at UNLV. According to Jeff Goodman, Kruger is expected to move back to Las Vegas to be around his son and grandkids.

Now, Oklahoma needs to hire two basketball coaches. Longtime women’s coach Sherri Coale announced her retirement last week.

Kruger is one of the winningest coaches in college basketball history. He’s currently tied with Ralph Miller for 27th on the all-time wins list at 674.

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