UNLV promotes Kruger to head basketball coach


LAS VEGAS — UNLV has promoted assistant Kevin Kruger, putting a familiar name in charge of a program trying to regain its former luster.

The school announced Sunday that Kruger will replace T.J. Otzelberger, who left to become the head coach at Iowa State.

Kruger spent the past two seasons as an assistant at UNLV after returning to his alma mater in 2019. The former Runnin’ Rebels point guard is the son of Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger, who led UNLV to four NCAA Tournament appearances between 2004-11.

Kevin Kruger worked under his father for three years at Oklahoma before moving to Las Vegas. He previously worked as an assistant coach at Northern Arizona from 2014-16 after serving as a graduate assistant for the Sooners.

Kruger started his playing career at Arizona State before transferring to UNLV for one season. He played professionally from 2007-13 with stints in Bulgaria, Italy, China, Mexico, Belgium and Germany. He also played with the Utah Flash and Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League before starting his coaching career.

UNLV went to the NCAA Tournament the two years after Kruger left for Oklahoma in 2011, but hasn’t been back since. The Runnin’ Rebels finished 12-15 this season.

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