Danny Beard, who runs basketball camps in Italy, Canada and several states, was Kruger's roommate all four years at K-State. Beard said Kruger always had a knack for uniting people.
“He's a great coach but he's a wonderful person,” Beard said. “That's one reason he's been so successful. He has the temperament, the work ethic and knowledge of the game. Just as important is he has the ability to build team chemistry. His teams play hard and play together.”
Kusnyer and Kruger played basketball together one season overseas after leaving Kansas State. Kruger could have made a second attempt to make an NBA roster or possibly played professional baseball. He chose to coach.
“I was thinking, ‘You have a chance to play in the NBA and you want to coach?'” Kusnyer said. “Coaches didn't make much back then. But you could tell that's what he was meant to do.
“It doesn't surprise me he's been such a success. He builds great relationships with people. That's so much of it. He has a genuine concern for people. He's kept us together over the years.”