'An honor to serve': Oklahoma's Lon Kruger retires from coaching

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Joe Buettner, The Norman Transcript, Okla.
·2 min read
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Mar. 25—Oklahoma men's basketball coach Lon Kruger, who led the Sooners to the 2016 Final Four, is retiring from coaching, he announced Thursday.

"It's been an honor to serve the University of Oklahoma as its head men's basketball coach over the last 10 years," Kruger said in a 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 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."

Kruger first arrived at OU in 2011 and compiled a 195-128 record over 10 seasons. His teams made the NCAA Tournament all but two seasons during his tenure, which doesn't include the 2020 tourney's cancellation, and made a pair of Sweet 16s.

Kruger was named the 2014 Big 12 Coach of the Year for his OU team that finished second in the conference and went 23-10.

Prior to OU, Kruger coached at Texas-Pan American, Kansas State, Florida, Illinois and UNLV. He also had a short stint as the coach of the Atlanta Hawks.

"It's anything but easy to sum up the career achievements and impact of Lon Kruger the basketball coach and person in just a handful of sentences," OU athletics director Joe Castiglione said. "The tremendous success he enjoyed on the court over the last four decades, the meaningful mentorship role he served with players and staff, his dedication to trying to improve the lives of others — it's a career he should certainly be proud of and that people should really take the time to study and appreciate."

Joe Buettner

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jbuettner@normantranscript.com