Oklahoma basketball: Sooners' Lon Kruger, Oklahoma Christian's Dan Hays go way back

In the early 90s, when Lon Kruger was coaching Florida and Dan Hays was well into his career at Oklahoma Christian, the pair coached together for two summers.
by Ryan Aber Published: November 3, 2013

— Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger and Oklahoma Christian's Dan Hays have been well-acquainted for more than two decades.

In the early '90s, when Kruger was coaching Florida and Hays was well into his career at Oklahoma Christian, the pair coached together for two summers.

Monday night, Kruger's Sooners will host Oklahoma Christian at 7 p.m. at McCasland Field House in Norman.

In 1990, Kruger was the head coach for the North team at the U.S. Olympic Festival in Minneapolis.

The next summer, Kruger coached the United States to a gold medal at the Junior Men's World Championship in Edmonton, Alberta.

Each time, Hays was an assistant.

“I learned a lot from him and what I learned most is just how he handled people and how gracious he was to everybody,” Hays said of Kruger. “I'm a small-college coach from Oklahoma and he treated me as an equal and gave me responsibility and that was very nice and then just the way he handled the players.

“He's got a touch with him where he gets his point across and you just sat back, and maybe I contributed a little bit, but I certainly took some major lessons from him.”

Hays had been working to get the game scheduled for awhile.

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by Ryan Aber
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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