Kruger accepts offer to take over Oklahoma
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Oklahoma finally made an offer that Lon Kruger couldn't refuse.
After turning down athletic director Joe Castiglione several times, Kruger agreed Friday to leave the job he's held at UNLV for seven seasons and start another rebuilding project as the Sooners' head coach.
"I have lived in a lot of places, but I was raised in middle America and that has always been home for me," Kruger said in a statement released late Friday night by Oklahoma.
"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."
Terms of Kruger's contract were not released, but he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he accepted a seven-year deal that will double his pay to about $2.2 million annually.
"I would be lying if I didn't say money was a consideration. But it was not only money. It was the challenge and the opportunity," Kruger told the newspaper. "It was very enticing. I've never planned to leave any job."
The 58-year-old Kruger has made a career of turning around struggling college programs and taking them to the postseason.
He was 161-71 in seven seasons with the Runnin' Rebels, taking them to the NCAA tournament four of the past five years. UNLV won the national title in 1990 and lost in the championship game the following year, but had been back to the NCAAs only twice in 12 years before Kruger's arrival.