Oklahoma Announces Hiring of Lon Kruger

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:18 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Apr 1, 2011 11:23 PM CDT

Oklahoma Sports Staff

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- Rumors and sources emerged early Friday saying that UNLV head coach Lon Kruger would be the Sooners’ new men’s baskeball coach, but the university waited until 11:21 p.m. Friday to make it official.

"This is an exciting day. I have appreciated the Oklahoma program for many years and always felt it had all of the components necessary to compete at the highest national level,” Kruger said in a press release. “It's the kind of environment that breeds success. I look forward to being part of it and to embracing the former players and coaches.”

The Kansas State alum spent the past seven seasons as the head coach of the Runnin’ Rebels, leading the UNLV to a 161-71 record and NCAA Tournament appearances in four of the last five seasons. The decision to leave for Oklahoma wasn’t one he took lightly.

"The people and especially our players at UNLV mean a great deal to me," Kruger said. "This was a difficult decision for me because of our team and the people of Las Vegas. I was privileged to be associated with them."

University of Oklahoma president David Boren, who reportedly met with Kruger in Dallas Friday, feels the new hire can take the Sooners back to the heights they saw in recent history.

"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.”

Throughout his coaching career, Kruger has an overall record of 479-304 (.612), and has taken teams to the NCAA Tournament in all four of his last coaching stops – including a Final Four appearance with the Florida Gators in 1994.