Kruger Tells TV Station He's Staying In Vegas
Despite reports that UNLV's Lon Kruger is to become the next head coach at the University of Oklahoma, a television station in Las Vegas says they just spoke with the coach and he says he's staying put.
The reports came hot and heavy this afternoon that Kruger -- who just led the Runnin' Rebels to their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in his seven seasons -- would become the next head coach at OU and some even saying the deal was worth two million dollars a year for seven years.
But, Chris Maathuis at KLAS-TV in Las Vegas reports he spoke with Kruger and that he said he is staying at UNLV.
There has been no word out of Norman on the reports and so far, the only person who has interviewed for the job is Terry Evans, a former OU player and current head coach at the University of Central Oklahoma.
The report could be just the latest one to have OU nabbing a head coach only to have it be debunked. Earlier this week, reports had Illinois head coach Brucer Weber being the guy, only to have him announce he was staying with the Illini.
Others whose names have been linked to the OU job include Memphis Josh Pastner, Marquette's Buzz Williams and even Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart, whose Rams play in the Final Four tomorrow night.
Kruger began his head coaching career in 1982 at Texas-Pan American, taking the Broncs to a 20-8 record in his final season before taking the head coaching job at his alma mater, Kansas State.
There, he guided the Wildcats to an Elite 8 appearance in his second season.
Kruger would go on to coach at Florida, reaching the Final Four in 1994 and later on to Illinois, where his Fighting Illini teams made the NCAA Tournament in three of four seasons.
He also coached the NBA's Atlanta Hawks from 2000 to 2003 and was an assistant with the Knicks in 2003-04 before jumping back into the collegiate ranks at UNLV in 2004-05.
In seven seasons, UNLV won nearly 70-percent of the games he coached and the Runnin' Rebels made the tournament four times, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2007.
This season, UNLV suffered a first round loss to Illinois here at Tulsa's BOK Center.