Winning Big in Vegas

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:35 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Apr 1, 2011 7:31 PM CDT

Mark me down as a big fan of OUs hire of Lon Kruger.  Joe Castiglione won big in Vegas.  I hear nothing but good things from other coaches, fans and broadcasters.

Hes a proven winner who has always run a clean program and that last fact is of huge importance to a Sooner program with an NCAA investigation hovering over it.

You never know how much compatibility among coaches at the same school matters, but bear in mind that Kruger was head coach at Kansas State when a certain Bob Stoops was a Wildcats assistant football coach.  Then a few years later Kruger landed as head coach at Florida and Bob Stoops was defensive coordinator on Steve Spurriers Gators football staff.

Kruger is no stranger to situations such as the one at OU.  When he took over at Florida in 1990, the program had crashed.  There was an NCAA investigation which resulted in Head Coach Norm Sloans resignation.  There was a 14-game losing streak and probation followed.  Kruger got the Gators to the  Final Four in 1994.

The UNLV program had fallen upon lead times when Kruger took over.  When Kruger led the Runnin Rebels to the NCAA tournament in 2007, it was only the 3rd Big Dance appearance for the Runnin Rebels since 1991.  They returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2008, 2010 and again in 2011.

Joe Castiglione may have hit a home run.  And Kruger is familiar with those.  He was a shortstop on the Kansas State baseball team.