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Oklahoma State Basketball

Updated: Oklahoma State Hires Steve Lutz as Next Men's Basketball Head Coach

April 1, 2024
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STILLWATER – Oklahoma State men’s basketball has found its new head coach. It was announced on Monday Chad Weiberg is hiring Steve Lutz, the former head coach at Western Kentucky. 

This news comes nearly a week after Pokes Report announced Weiberg had interviewed Lutz, as well as naming him the top candidate for the job.

"I'd like to thank Chad Weiberg and Dr. Shrum for entrusting me with one of college basketball's most storied programs. It's a responsibility that I don't take lightly," Lutz said in the release. "Cowboy Nation -- I look forward to meeting you all soon and hitting the ground running. Know that my staff and I will work diligently to recruit and retain hardworking kids who will represent you well, on and off the court, and consistently compete for Big 12 championships."

Lutz just finished his first year with WKU in the opening round of the NCAA tournament following a 22-12 overall record, which includes winning the Conference USA tournament. 

"Coach Lutz is known as one of the hardest-working coaches in the business," Weiberg said in the release. "He has worked at all levels of college basketball and has deep ties to this part of the country, especially Texas. The work he has put into his career has resulted in success as a head coach and why I believe he is the right person to be the leader of Cowboy Basketball."

The 51-year-old out of San Antonio, TX, has been a head coach for the past three season, one with Western Kentucky and two with Texas A&M Corpus Christi before that, compiling a 69-35 overall record. 

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Prior to that, Lutz spent several seasons as an assistant coach under Greg McDermott at Creighton, 2010-17, and the next five seasons at Purdue under Matt Painter, giving Lutz a direct connection to the Eddie Sutton coaching tree. Painter played his college ball at Purdue from 1989-93 under head coach Gene Keady, who was an assistant coach under Eddie Sutton at Arkansas from 1975-78. Ironically enough, Keady left Arkansas to become the head coach at Western Kentucky in 1978.

Lutz checks a lot of good boxes when it comes to his coaching style, which is focused on defense, which should come as no surprise being in the Iba/Sutton coaching tree. First and foremost, he’s a proven player developer. During his two seasons at Corpus Christi, his leading scorer and rebounder was stretch forward, Isaac Mushila, who scored 13.2 points per game on 53% shooting from the field, 31% from 3-point range and nearly 79% from the free throw line and brought down 9.4 boards per game. In year two, Mushila posted nearly 15 points per game on 54% shooting from the field, 36% from 3-point range and nearly 84% from the free throw line, while bringing down 10 rebounds per game.

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He's also turned two programs around immediately in TAMU CC and WKU as the Islanders were 5-19 in 2020-21 and 23-12 in 2021-22 when Lutz took over. The appearance in the Big Dance in 2021-22 marked the first since 2007 for the Islanders, as was the conference championship. As for the Hilltoppers, they were 17-16 in 2022-23 and 22-12 in the one year under Lutz and hadn’t made the NCAA tournament since the 2013 season, the same year they last won the C-USA tournament.

 
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