Utah fires men’s basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak
Utah has fired coach Larry Krystkowiak, the school announced Tuesday.
Krystkowiak had been in charge of the Utes for 10 seasons.
“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,” athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement. “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.”
Utah missed the NCAA tournament in five straight seasons, last going in back-to-back years in 2015 and 2016. Krystkowiak failed to build off the 53 wins in 2015 and 2016 behind the stellar play of future NBA players Delon Wright, Jakob Poeltl and Kyle Kuzma. The Utes finished below .500 in each of the past two seasons, going 8-11 in Pac-12 play this season and 7-11 in league play a year ago.
Krystkowiak, an 11-year NBA veteran, was named head coach in 2011. Prior to taking over the Utes, he had been the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA and Montana, his alma mater, at the college level. He also spent time as an assistant coach with the Bucks and New Jersey Nets, as well as Old Dominion and Montana.
“The costs associated with this termination and the hiring of a new head coach and staff will be fully funded from athletically-generated resources,” Harlan said. “We will launch an immediate national search for a new head coach.”
There are two potential replacements in the state, with BYU’s Mark Pope and Utah State’s Craig Smith both leading their teams to the NCAA tournament this season. Colorado State coach Niko Medved could be another option.