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Oklahoma basketball coach Lon Kruger retiring after 35 seasons in college basketball


Oklahoma basketball coach Lon Kruger is retiring after a 35-year run coaching college basketball. 

Lon Kruger is retiring.

The college basketball coach who led Florida and Oklahoma to the Final Four has announced he’s coached his last game.

Kruger is leaving the game after spending the last 10 seasons on the Oklahoma basketball bench where he compiled a 195–128 and led the Sooners to the Final Four in 2015-2016. His time in Oklahoma marked the longest stop among his college jobs. He led the Sooners to the Round of 32 where they fell to 1-seed Gonzaga.

He previously coached at Texas Pan-American from 1982-1986 then spent the next four seasons at Kansas State where he went 81–46 and made the NCAA Tournament all four years he was in Manhattan.

Lon Kruger led 5 schools to the NCAA Tournament, 2 to the Final Four

Kruger then left for Florida where he experienced his greatest success to that point in his career, going 104–80 and making the Final Four in 1993-1994. His teams regressed the next two years, winning a combined 29 games, the same total won during the Final Four run, and he left for the Illinois job.

At Illinois, Kruger went 81–48 and made the NCAA Tournament in three of his four years but never made it past the Second Round. His teams were considered underachievers during his time in Champaign.

He parlayed his Illinois job into a job with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks where he went 69-122 in two-plus seasons and never made the playoffs. He was fired 27 games into his third season.

Kruger returned to the college game after his failed stint in the NBA with UNLV where he rebounded to go 161–71 and made six NCAA Tournament appearances in seven seasons. He led his team to the Mountain West Conference Tournament championship in back-to-back years (2007,2008).

From UNLV, Kruger came to Oklahoma in 2011 and brought Buddy Hield to Norman. It was Hield’s senior year that resulted in a run to the Final Four and the pinnacle of Oklahoma basketball success under Kruger’s watch.

Kruger has a career record of 674–432.

For more NCAA basketball news, analysis, opinion and features, check out more from the FanSided college basketball section to stay on top of the latest action.





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