The Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV have a new coach! It was announced on Sunday March 21 that the mens basketball program would be receiving their new leader after the former coach T.J. Otzelberger left UNLV to take the head coaching job at Iowa State. The name of this new leader is former assistant coach Kevin Kruger. Kruger severed as an assistant coach to Otzelberger for the last two seasons he was at UNLV.
Kruger is no stranger to the scarlet and grey. He has a long history with the basketball program having played for the Rebels as a point guard in 2007. He started out his college career playing four seasons at Arizona State. After earning his degree decided to continue to play having one more year of eligibility left. He decided to leave Arizona and come to UNLV to play under a coach he knew well, his father Lon Kruger.
Lon Kruger was the head coach at UNLV for seven seasons. He had much success making the NCAA tour moment four times. His teams also won more that 20 games in the last five seasons he was coaching. Lon Kruger is now currently the head coach at Oklahoma.
Kevin Kruger after his 2007 season with the Rebels would go on to experience success. This same success that made him a perfect candidate for the head coaching job. In his only year with the Rebels the team won 30 games. Kruger was named All Moutain West Third- Team honors. He was also named conferences all-tournament team. He played professionally in Bulgaria, Italy, China, Mexico, Belgium, and Germany. He was invited to a few training camps on the NBA, and also played in the NBA D-League.
Already spending the last two seasons with the Runnin’ Rebels should make the transition from assistant to head coach a lot smoother for Kruger. Director of Athletics Desiree Reed-Francois will introduce Kruger formally via a virtual press conference. Hopefully with Kruger as the head coach the Rebels will see continued success.