Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
HOUSTON — Former UNLV coach Lon Kruger, a Kansas native and former Knicks assistant, is the new head coach at Oklahoma.
“I have lived in a lot of places, but I was raised in middle America and that has always been home for me,” Kruger, who also was head coach of the Atlanta Hawks for three seasons, said in a statement. “We never knew if the opportunity would present itself to get back there, but it did in this case, and it came at a great university.”
Oklahoma President David L. Boren said that Kruger was the best candidate for the position. He replaces Jeff Capel, who was fired last month.
“Lon Kruger is the best choice for the University of Oklahoma,” he said. “He has outstanding coaching ability and a commitment to the highest ethical standards. He will provide strong leadership to our program.
“In addition, he and his wife, Barbara, have a long record of service to the larger community. They will be tremendous additions to our campus and the state of Oklahoma.”
Kruger, 58, just completed his seventh season at UNLV where he compiled a record of 161-71.
He took the Runnin’ Rebels to the NCAA Tournament in four of the last five seasons after the program appeared in only two of the previous 15 tournaments, and also achieved UNLV’s first national ranking since 1992-93. Over the past five seasons, Kruger’s teams have posted a .743 winning percentage (127-44) and have averaged 25.4 wins. His 2006-07 squad won 30 games and advanced to the Sweet 16.
Kruger’s overall college mark is 479-304 with 16 post-season appearances in 25 years.
(OU Athletics contributed; Photo courtesy OU)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.