Larry Krystkowiak fired after ten seasons as Utes basketball coach

Sports

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – University of Utah director of athletics Mark Harlan announced Monday that he has fired head basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak after ten years at the helm.

In a statement, Harlan said, “Today, I informed Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Krystkowiak that I am making a change in the leadership of our men’s basketball program. The decision comes after a thorough evaluation of the program—both on and off of the court—as I do with every head coach at the conclusion of their seasons. Ultimately, our program needs a new voice, a new vision and a new leader who can build upon Larry’s foundation and lead us to greater heights in the years ahead. 

Larry has always been dedicated to our student-athletes, to our University and to the Salt Lake City community, and I am grateful for his decade of service to the University of Utah. In addition, he and his wife Jan have been incredibly generous in supporting University and community initiatives. I want to wish Larry, Jan and their family the very best.

The costs associated with this termination and the hiring of a new head coach and staff will be fully funded from athletically-generated resources. We will launch an immediate national search for a new head coach.”

As head coach of the Utes, Krystkowiak had a career record of 183 wins and 139 losses. He led the Utes to two NCAA tournament appearances in 2014-2015 where they made it to the Sweet Sixteen, and 2015-2016.

But the Utes have not made it back to the Big Dance in the last five years. This past season, the Utes had a 12-13 record, ending with a loss to USC in double overtime in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals. This was Utah’s first losing season since 2013, Krystkowiak’s second season with the Utes.

Some 37 Utah players have also transferred during Krystkowiak’s tenure, including Donnie Tillman, Jayce Johnson, Both Gach, Devon Daniels and Matt Van Komen to name a few.

Krystkowiak also coached three first round NBA draft picks in Delon Wright, Jakob Poeltl and Kyle Kuzma.

Krystkowiak is fourth all-time in victories at Utah. Trailing only Vadal Peterson (385-230), Jack Gardner (339-154), and Rick Majerus (323-95.)

The search for a new head coach is underway. Utah State head coach Craig Smith could be a candidate, as could former Utes players and current NBA assistants Alex Jensen and Johnnie Bryant. Colorado State’s Niko Medved may also be a possible candidate.

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