Long-time UNLV booster Wade Leavitt, who has followed the program for 40 years, said Kruger invested countless hours in the community and also helped raise money towards a $12 million practice facility that's nearing completion.
“You go to a women's volleyball game or soccer game and generally he and Barb were there,” Leavitt said. “He did so much in the community. He'd go anywhere they asked him to go. Sometimes I think they maybe asked too much of him time-wise.”
Jon Sadler, UNLV's radio play-by-play voice the past eight years, said he introduces Kruger at the post-season basketball banquet, telling the same story.
“I say, ‘I tried to find someone to say something bad about coach Kruger. It's another year I came up empty,'“ Sadler said. “You won't ever find a nicer guy or a guy with more integrity.”
Several coaches and athletes assist community projects but Phillips said Kruger is rare.
“There wasn't one person I met that didn't say, ‘What a wonderful human being, what a down-to-earth human being,'“ Phillips said. “It's so refreshing to see someone in his position reach out to so many people and try to help. We're really going to miss him.”