Lon Kruger receives John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award

It was announced earlier in the college basketball season that Oklahoma basketball coach Lon Kruger was this year’s recipient of the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award.

The actual presentation took place Friday night in Los Angeles as part of ESPN’s College Basketball Awards Show.

The veteran head coach just completed his eighth season at Oklahoma, taking the Sooners to their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in his eight-years in Norman. OU made it past the opening round before losing to eventual national champion Virginia in the round of 32.

Kruger was the first coach to take five different schools to the NCAA Tournament and is the only coach to win at least one tournament game with five different schools. His 2016 Oklahoma team and 1994 Florida team went to the Final Four.

The OU head coach has compiled a record of 160-105 (.604) at Oklahoma, which ranks fifth in program history in terms of total wins. In 33 seasons as a college head coach, Kruger has a combined record of 639-405 (.610). That is the10th most wins among active head coaches and is 30th best all-time.

First presented in 1999, the Legends of Coaching Award recognizes a college coach who “exemplifies former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden’s high standard of coaching success and personal integrity.”

Kruger joins a group of previous Legends of Coaching recipients who represent some of the greatest college coaches of all time. The list of previous winners includes Dean Smith of North Carolina, Mike Kryzyzewski of Duke, Roy Williams and Bill Self of Kansas, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim.

Over the past four seasons, the Oklahoma head coach has mentored three NBA Draft picks, a National Player of the Year (Buddy Hield) and National Freshman of the Year (Trae Young).

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