Lon Kruger Introduced as Oklahoma Men's Basketball Coach

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:19 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Apr 4, 2011 3:36 PM CDT

Gerald Goodridge
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- After being named the Oklahoma head men’s basketball coach late Friday night, the Sooners officially introduced Lon Kruger as their new men’s basketball coach at McCasland Field House Monday.

The conference was held at the former home of the men’s basketball team as part of the message of the new direction for the program.

“It’s the facility that was closest to the center of campus,” athletic director Joe Castiglione said. “We wanted to send a message that our program’s success starts here. The only way that we’re going to get it done is with [fans]. ”

Kruger echoed that sentiment, and invited fans to be a part of the program from the start, announcing that practices are open and welcomed suggestions from those in attendance.

“We’re going to do this together,” Kruger said. “The band, the cheer, it’s all important to create a great home field advantage. In this conference, you need all of the advantage we can possibly get.”

The new head man, who has been in Norman, Okla. for just two days, has already met with the players and realizes that any success the program will have in the future requires top-notch players, something he feels he has.

“After meeting [the players] last night, I’m even more encouraged and fired up about getting started,” Kruger said. “These guys here are at the center of it, and I know one thing is they’re going to work hard for you.”

Kruger, having played against the Sooners in the Big 8 from 1971-1978, understands the tradition that goes along with the Sooners. Despite some considering it a “rebuilding” stage in the program, Kruger wants to continue to move forward and build on what has already been done with the Sooners.

“This program has great tradition,” Kruger said. “We’re not rebuilding, we’re not bringing it back, we’re just hoping to continue what’s been very good here for a long time.”

He will spend Tuesday and Wednesday practicing with and getting to know the team, both practices open to the public, and then head out Thursday to start the recruiting process.