Report: Former Illinois, current Oklahoma head coach retiring after 44 seasons in CBB
Days after Oklahoma’s season came to an end in the NCAA Tournament, head coach Lon Kruger has made the decision to retire. He has coached the Sooners for 10 seasons, taking the job ahead of the 2011-12 season.
Kruger has been coaching college basketball for 44 years, most of those as a head coach. In 10 seasons at the helm of the Oklahoma program, Kruger’s teams have posted a 195-128 record with seven NCAA Tournament appearances and winning records in all but two years.
The Sooners finished this season with a 16-11 record and reached the second round of the tournament. They were defeated by Gonzaga.
Jeff Borzello of ESPN reported the news.
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger is retiring after 44 years in coaching, sources confirmed to ESPN.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 25, 2021
Before his time at Oklahoma, Kruger had stops at multiple programs, including Illinois. He spent four seasons with the Fighting Illini and compiled an 81-48 record, winning a B1G regular season title during the 1997-98 season. Illinois went 23-10 that year with a 13-3 mark in conference play.
Kruger’s Illini teams played in three NCAA Tournaments.
In 1982, Kruger got his star at Texas-Pan American, where he stayed for four seasons. He then coached at Kansas State (1986-1990), Florida (1990-96) and had a stop at UNLV (2004-11) between his runs at Illinois and Oklahoma.
Overall, Kruger has a 674-432 record and has coached in 20 NCAA Tournaments. He’s taken Florida (1994) and Oklahoma (2016) to the Final Four and was a two-time SEC Coach of the Year (1992, 1994), the Mountain West Coach of the Year (2008) and the Big 12 Coach of the Year (2014).