UNLV men’s basketball promotes assistant Kevin Kruger to head coach

UNLV is promoting assistant coach Kevin Kruger to be the next basketball head coach of the Runnin’ Rebels, it was announced on Sunday.

Kruger replaces T.J. Otzelberger, who left last week for the vacancy at Iowa State. Kruger will be formally introduced by the school on Monday.

Kruger, son of Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger, has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach under Otzelberger at UNLV. Before that, Kruger was an assistant under his father at Oklahoma for three seasons. He also spent a year at Northern Arizona following a six-year professional career in the United States and overseas.

“I have proudly represented the UNLV men’s basketball program and to now have been chosen to lead it, I really am speechless,” Kruger said in a statement. “This is home for me and my family and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the guys on our team. We will get after it and build on the foundation that has been set.”

The original graduate transfer, Kruger was the first college basketball player to transfer to a new school after graduating with one year of eligibility remaining. He spent four seasons at Arizona State before transferring to play for one season under his father at UNLV. Kruger averaged 13.5 points and 5.1 assists in his lone season in the desert.

Lon Kruger was head coach of the Runnin’ Rebels for seven seasons, making four NCAA tournament appearances and winning at least 20 games in his final five seasons at UNLV.

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