Kruger series was enlightening
I thought I knew quite a bit about Lon Kruger. But after interviewing more than 30 people for a seven-part series that ran last week, it was a reminder you don’t really know a coach/player until you’ve talked to people whose lives they’ve impacted throughout their careers.
Nearly every person interviewed raved about Kruger’s desire to help people on and off the court. You often hear about a coach’s community work. But people that have known Lon Kruger for more than three decades constantly stressed OU’s new coach impacts society far beyond X’s and O’s and wins and losses.
Several people that read the series asked me how I feel Kruger will fare at OU. The answer is complex, yet simple.
Kruger rarely has won big. He’s had only one team reach the Final Four (Florida) and one other advance to the Elite Eight (Kansas State). He’s recruited only a handful of McDonald’s All-Americans. But his teams play hard and win consistently.
Kruger’s track record speaks for itself. His teams never are investigated by the NCAA for rules violations and he’s been to the NCAA Tournament 13 times despite inheriting down-on-their-luck programs.
D.J. Allen, UNLV’s senior associate athletic director, summed it up best when he said Kruger closing in on 500 career college wins might be one of the most historic runs to 500 considering he’s constantly had to revive programs.
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