Lon Kruger

Lon Kruger (born August 19, 1952)

Teams coached: Texas-Pan American Broncs, Kansas State Wildcats, Florida Gators, Illinois Fighting Illini, Atlanta Hawks, UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, Oklahoma Sooners
Texas-Pan American record: 52-59 (.468)
Kansas State record: 81-46 (.638)
Florida record: 104-80 (.565)
Illinois record: 81-48 (.628)
UNLV record: 161-71 (.694)
Oklahoma record: 195-128 (.604)
Overall record^: 674-432 (.609)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  20  (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen: (1988, 1994, 2007, 2015, 2016)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four: (1994, 2016)
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  4  (1992, 1993, 2005, 2009)
  • Big Ten Regular Season Champion:  1  (1998)
  • SEC Regular Season Champion:  1  (1994)
  • Mountain West Tournament Champion:  2  (2007, 2008)

Awards:

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

2011-2021 Oklahoma
2004-2011 UNLV
2003-2004 New York Knicks (asst)
2000-2003 Atlanta Hawks
1996-2000 Illinois
1990-1996 Florida
1986-1990 Kansas State
1982-1986 Texas-Pan American
1979-1982 Kansas State (asst)
1977-1978 Kansas State (grad. asst)
1976-1977 Pittsburg State (grad. asst)

Lon Kruger Facts

  • Lonnie Duane Kruger
  • Born August 19, 1952
  • Hometown: Silver Lake, Kansas
  • Alma Mater: Kansas State University (BS, 1975) / Pittsburg State University (M.Ed., 1977)
  • Played at Kansas State under coach Jack Hartman, leading the Wildcats to two straight Big Eight titles in 1972-73
  • Started off as a graduate assistant at Pittsburg State, a GA at Kansas State and full-time assistant coach under Hartman
  • Hired in 1982 as head coach at UT-Pan American (now UTRGV), leading the D-I Independent program for four seasons
  • Returned to alma mater Kansas State in 1986 to take over as the Wildcats’ head coach, winning 81 games in 4 seasons there
    • Reached the NCAA Tournament each season, but the highlight was the 25-win 1987-88 squad that reached the Elite Eight
  • Left K-State for Florida in 1990, coaching the Gators for the next six seasons
    • Reached the Final Four as a 3-seed in 1994, losing to Duke in the semifinal round
  • Spent four seasons as the head coach at Illinois, winning 22+ games and going to the NCAA Tournament three times
    • His 1997-98 team finished 23-10 (13-3) and were co-champions of the Big Ten regular season
  • Made the jump to the NBA in 2000, coaching the Atlanta Hawks for two full seasons before being fired midway through his third
    • Compiled a 69-122 record during his tenure in Atlanta, missing the playoffs each season
  • After a year out of coaching, Kruger was hired to take over as head coach at UNLV
    • Went to four NCAATs and two NITs in seven seasons with the Rebels, highlighted by a 30-win 2006-07 campaign
  • Hired to his current role – head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners – in April 2011
    • Capped off a run of four-straight NCAA Tournament bids by returning to the Final Four in 2016, the fifth for the program and first since 2002
    • Has won 195 games and gone to seven NCAA Tournaments during his tenure with the Sooners
    • Is one of just three head coaches – with Tubby Smith and Rick Pitino – to lead 5 different programs to the NCAA Tournament
  • In March 2021, Kruger announced his retirement after 10 seasons at OU and 45 total years in coaching
  • Along with his wife, Barbara, has one daughter, one son (Kevin) and one granddaughter

Lon Kruger Coaching Tree

 

^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the NCAA Division I level only

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