Well, it's finally official: Lon Kruger is the new head coach of the Oklahoma men's basketball team. An announcement was posted to the official website Friday night.
The man himself:
"I have lived in a lot of places, but I was raised in middle America and that has always been home for me. We never knew if the opportunity would present itself to get back there, but it did in this case, and it came at a great university."
You can read the dossier I put together on Kruger here.
More reaction here from Mountain West Connection, an SBN Blog.
What do you think of the decision to hire Lon Kruger? Vote in the poll below. More reactions after the jump.
Assorted Reactions and Talking-Head-itry
David L. Boren:
"Lon Kruger is the best choice for the University of Oklahoma. He has outstanding coaching ability and a commitment to the highest ethical standards. He will provide strong leadership to our program. In addition, he and his wife, Barbara, have a long record of service to the larger community. They will be tremendous additions to our campus and the state of Oklahoma."
Dr. John Bell, Chairman of OU Regents:
"I can't think of anyone better to take our program where we think it can go. He cares about his student-athletes and he runs a program the right way. He combines a record of success with outstanding character."
"Lon Kruger wins with class," said Castiglione, "and in the coaching realm, I don't know if the praise gets any higher. His background, ranging from regular trips to the NCAA Tournament to his time in the NBA, is among the most unique and complete in college basketball. He has demonstrated the ability to manage a program across the board, and the results speak for themselves. We have placed our program in the hands of a true professional and one of the most respected coaches in the country."
"Lon has great respect for his players, the leadership and the fans at UNLV. He had a good situation there and was happy. We were persistent in presenting a position that might hold some appeal for him."
"Kruger is a total class act," ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb tweeted. "Very good coach, better person."
"A great hire," texted Terry Evans, "I played for Coach Kruger in the 1990 Olympic Festival. We have a great relationship. He will win."
"OU basketball, gasping for good news going on two years, found just that. Kruger brings stability and integrity and hope to a proud program that has fallen on hard times."
"He must be a good coach; I remember he beat me once. He's a good coach. He's really solid."
"He did a great job of coaching here, too. His teams always played hard. They were very competitive. I thought he did a great job in every aspect of running the program."
"Kruger’s teams will run at times but his foundation is playing disciplined basketball built around defense and crisp execution on offense."
"But admit it, Sooner fans, when you heard about his hiring you weren’t fired up about it. This isn’t a jump-up-and-down hire. This isn’t let-out-a-shriek news. This isn’t rearrange-your-schedule-to-attend-the-pep-rally-announcement motivation."
(editorial note: what was she expecting? For me to jump up and down I would need OU to hire Izzo or someone)
Between a threadbare roster and the threat of impending NCAA sanctions, Oklahoma isn’t as attractive a job as it once was during the peak of Jeff Capel’s tenure. As a result, the Sooners had to overpay to lure UNLV coach Lon Kruger into agreeing to be Capel’s replacement.
UNLV AD Jim Livengood:
"We’re going to miss Lon, without a doubt. Not only on the court, but in the community – he was everywhere supporting everyone. But he is a strong leader and, like strong leaders do, they leave things better than they found them and we will benefit from that. Our next head coach will benefit from that."
Greg Anthony via Twitter:
Disappointed for our program that coach Kruger is leaving but have a ton of respect for the man and the coach and wish him the best!
Some UNLV fans, via this Las Vegas article:
"Totally heartbroken. Just completely heart broken," says Alison Edwards, a huge Runnin' Rebels fan.
"I was driving between jobs this afternoon, and I heard it on ESPN radio. Sorry to see him go, but you know, the program is in great shape and he's not handing off a mess like a lot of coaches are," says another fan, Kent Butler.
Former UNLV player Curtis Terry, via Twitter:
Hurts 2 hear Coach Kruger is leavin UNLV & goin to OU. But I wish nothing but best for Coach family!