Billy Tubbs came from Lamar, Kelvin Sampson from Washington State. OU had enjoyed past success finding an overachiever who might be interested in a bigger stage and a bigger budget.
But when Capel flamed out, amid losing seasons, probation and recruiting that hit the skids after Tiny Gallon and Tommy Mason-Griffin didn’t go one-and-done so much as they lost their minds, Castiglione did not want another Capel.
He didn’t want a high ceiling nearly as much as he wanted a vaulted floor. He got just what he wanted in Kruger, who could be categorized as a fantastically successful journeyman or a successful leader of storied programs, just not a fantastically successful leader of storied programs.
Kruger has been successful since his arrival. If he can make the Sooners as successful as he made Kansas State, Florida, Illinois and UNLV, he’ll have done something. If he can make them more successful than all of them, he’ll be right there with Tubbs and Sampson the same way Stoops is right there with Switzer and Wilkinson.
Back on the diamond, Castiglione, rather than going safe, chose to swing for the fences.
OU has won 40 games in four consecutive seasons and has been to three super regionals in four seasons. Hughes has won 40 games in a season twice, in 2010 and 2013, and has never reached a super regional.
On the other hand, he made Boston College a winner, which is like making Baylor or Iowa State a gridiron winner, and he turned Virginia Tech from an also-ran to a power program in the ACC, one of college baseball’s best conferences.
No small things.
“He did achieve a lot of success making the most out of the resources that he had,” Castiglione said. “And, you know, when you look around the University of Oklahoma, it’s easy to see that we have a lot of great resources at our fingertips that maybe don’t exist at other programs.”