Lon Kruger (born August 19, 1952) is an American basketball coach. Most recently, in 2007, he took the UNLV Runnin' Rebels to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship Sweet 16 for the first time since 1991. On April 1, 2011, sources are confirming that Kruger has accepted the position of head coach at the University of Oklahoma .
Lon Kruger was born in Silver Lake, Kansas. As a player, Kruger led Kansas State University to back-to-back Big Eight championships in 1972 and 1973 under coach Jack Hartman. Kruger was named the Big Eight Player of the Year in 1973 and 1974, after being named the Big Eight Sophomore of the Year in 1972. He was also a shortstop on the Kansas State baseball team. As coach of the Wildcats, he led K-State to the NCAA Tournament in each of his four seasons as head coach and the Elite 8 in 1988 before losing to the arch-rival Kansas Jayhawks, the eventual national champion.
Prior to accepting the head coaching position at UNLV in 2004, Kruger was the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. It was as head coach of the Hawks that Kruger guaranteed season-ticket holders that the Hawks would make the playoffs or get a $125 refund. The Hawks failed to make the playoffs and Kruger was fired midway through the season. Kruger also held head coaching positions in collegiate basketball at the University of Texas-Pan American (1982–1986), Kansas State University (1986–1990), the University of Florida (1990–1996), and the University of Illinois (1996–2000). While at Illinois, he became the only Big Ten coach to successfully sign three consecutive Illinois Mr. Basketball winners, after inking Sergio McClain, Frankie Williams, and Brian Cook between 1997 and 1999. Kruger is one of five coaches to take four different teams to the men's NCAA basketball tournament. In the process, he led the University of Florida to its first-ever Final Four appearance (1994).