NCAA Men’s Basketball 2021: Florida vs Oklahoma

Former OU coach Lon Kruger speaks December 1 during a ceremony at Lloyd Noble Center.

A former Oklahoma coach will be forever enshrined in college basketball history.

The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 2022 class Wednesday, which included former OU coach Lon Kruger. He becomes the first OU coach to be inducted into the college hall of fame and joins former Sooner player Wayman Tisdale.

Kruger joins coaches John Beilein and Jerry Krause, along with former players Richard Hamilton (Connecticut), Larry Miller (North Carolina), Frank Selvy (Furman) and Jimmy Walker (Providence).

“Very honored to join those who have already been inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame,” Kruger said in a statement. “Any time a coach receives the honor, it is a result of the people that surround him. From players, staff and coaches and so many people through the years, it has always been about the relationships. Everyone who has been a part of this journey should feel some ownership in it.”

Kruger was hired as the Sooners coach in 2011 before retiring from his 35-year career in 2021. He posted a record of 195-121 with the Sooners, making him the fourth-winningest coach in program history. He led the Sooners to the NCAA Tournament seven times, including two Sweet 16 appearances and a Final Four appearance in 2016.

Before Oklahoma, Kruger held head coaching positions at Texas-Pan American, Kansas State, Florida, Illinois and UNLV.

“What a tremendous and incredibly well-deserved honor for Lon. He was a quintessential coach and a wonderful leader of countless young men everywhere he’s been,” OU athletic director Joe Castligione said in a statement. “We are all beneficiaries of his dedication to the game of basketball. At OU, we are especially grateful for his significant impact on our program during his 10 years here.”

Jesse Crittenden is the sports editor of The Transcript and covers OU athletics. Reach him at jesse@normantranscript.com or at 405-366-3580

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