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Lon Kruger to retire as Oklahoma MBB head coach

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 1:28 PM CDT
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NORMAN, Okla. (WIBW) - Silver Lake-native Lon Kruger will retire as head coach of the Oklahoma men’s basketball team.

Kruger has led the Sooners for the past decade, amassing 195 wins to 128 losses (.604).

“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.”

Kruger served as head coach at six NCAA Division I schools during his career: Texas Pan-American, K-State, Florida, Illinois, UNLV and Oklahoma.

He is the only coach to win an NCAA Tournament game with five programs. His 674 wins are the 11th-most by an active coach, and the 27th-most all-time.

”Lon’s legacy at the University of Oklahoma will be of unbridled excitement and deep kindness,” OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. said. “His impact these last ten years on our student-athletes and the larger Sooner Nation is truly remarkable. He is permanently a part of our of OU family and we are incredibly grateful for the gift of his leadership within OU Athletics, and for his deep love for our university. After decades of shepherding elite programs, Lon has earned a well-deserved retirement. We wish him well and will proudly take a front row seat to see where his journey leads.”

“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,” Kruger continued. W”e 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 also played basketball at K-State, leading the Wildcats to back-to-back league titles in 1972 and 1973. He finished with 1,063 points in his three seasons in Manhattan.

“He was just a tremendous player. Not only that, but just a great teammate,” K-State teammate and former Washburn men’s basketball coach, Bob Chipman, said. “He’s still responsible for getting our team together after 48 years now. We still get together because of Lonny.”

Kansas State Athletics inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2003.

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