The hire is still pending final approval, but Texas A&M-Corpus Christi announced Tuesday their intention to hire Purdue assistant coach and Texas-native Steve Lutz as the Islanders’ next head men’s basketball coach. Lutz has been on Matt Painter‘s staff since 2017 and before that worked at Creighton, SMU, Stephen F. Austin and Incarnate Word.
“We had interest from a lot of great coaches from across the country, but Steve stood out as a perfect fit,” AD Jon Palumbo said in the release. “He has been instrumental in several highly successful programs that have made deep NCAA tournament runs, has proven himself as one of the best recruiters in the country and will bring a relentless work ethic to the Island. Most importantly, he is a man of character who will continue our tradition of molding young men into great players, students, and people.”
This is the first head coaching opportunity for Lutz, who has been a collegiate assistant coach for the last 26 years. Originally from San Antonio, Lutz has been to a number of NCAA Tournaments throughout his career and helped recruit and develop several NBA talents.
“It is with great honor that I accept the offer to become the next head men’s basketball coach at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi,” Lutz said. “This is the realization of a dream, and I look forward to working diligently to build a program that will make Islander fans proud. Thank you to Dr. Miller and John Palumbo for the confidence they’ve shown in me. I will work every day to justify their faith. My family and I are eager to get to town and get started on the task of building a championship program. Go Islanders!”
The Islanders’ previous head coach, Willis Wilson, retired last month after 11 years at the helm. Still a relatively young program (Lutz is just the fourth-ever head coach), the Islanders played in the NCAA Tournament just once (2007) but have been to four CITs and finished as Runner-up in 2017.
credit to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Athletics for the image