Announced on Monday evening, Oklahoma men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger is retiring after 45 years in coaching.
In 10 seasons as head coach with the Sooners, Kruger was 195-128. This includes seven NCAA March Madness appearances and the Final Four in 2016. This year, the team finished with a record of 16-11 and went 9-8 in the Big 12 conference. They sneaked past Missouri in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, beating them 72-68. However, they fell to No. 1 Gonzaga in the Round of 32.
Kruger is considered one of the more underrated coaches of his generation. One of only three coaches to lead five different programs to the NCAA tournament. He went to 20 NCAA tournaments and two Final Fours.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 25, 2021
Prior to being with Oklahoma, Kruger served as the head coach of the University of Texas–Pan American, Kansas State, the University of Florida, the University of Illinois and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He also coached in the NBA, spending three seasons as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks and a year with the New York Knicks as an assistant.
Overall, Kruger was 674-432 as a college head coach, making 20 NCAA Tournaments two Final Four appearances. Considered one of the more under-recognized and underrated coaches, Kruger is one of only three coaches, and the first, to lead five programs to the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s been an honor to serve the University of Oklahoma as its head men’s basketball coach over the last 10 years,” said Kruger in his retirement statement.
“The people here are certainly amazing and our family is so grateful for the kindness and support expressed by Sooner Nation throughout the past decade. The leadership of [Vice President]Joe Castiglione and President Harroz has established an incredible culture and standard that is better than any coach could have asked for. We have such a deep appreciation for the players, coaches and fans. There truly is ‘Only One Oklahoma’ and it’s a great honor to be a Sooner for life.”
Thank you Coach!
— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) March 25, 2021
“From Our Haus to Yours”