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Oklahoma State Hires Steve Lutz as Program’s 21st Coach

Lutz has made three NCAA Tournaments in three seasons as a head coach.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

After a lengthy (lengthy) search, Oklahoma State has its guy.

Steve Lutz will be Oklahoma State’s next basketball coach, the program’s 21st coach, according to CBS Sports. According to Kyle Boone and Matt Norlander, Lutz will have a five-year deal.

“Coach Lutz is known as one of the hardest-working coaches in the business,” OSU AD Chad Weiberg said in OSU’s 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.”

Lutz, 51, joins Oklahoma State after spending a season at Western Kentucky, where he led the Hilltoppers to a 22-12 record, a Conference USA tournament title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Before his time at WKU, Lutz spent two seasons as the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi coach, where he led the Islanders to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments, two Southland tournament titles and a Southland regular-season crown. So, in three seasons as a head coach, Lutz has made three NCAA Tournaments.

A San Antonio native, Lutz brings a 69-35 record as a head coach to Stillwater. Before his time at Corpus Christi, he spent time as an assistant at Purdue, Creighton, SMU, Stephen F. Austin, Garden City Community College and Incarnate Word. That’s a lot of experience in the Lone Star State, which should be beneficial for the Cowboys’ recruiting efforts.

Including his time as an assistant, Lutz has been to seven straight NCAA Tournaments.

The season before Lutz got to A&M-Corpus Christi, the Islanders went 5-19 before Lutz instantly flipped their fortunes and led them to a 23-12 record, a Southland tournament win and an NCAA Tournament appearance. It was the Islanders’ first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007 and just their second in program history.

Western Kentucky went 17-16 before Lutz took over this past season and led the Hilltoppers to the tourney. It was the first time WKU had been to the Big Dance since 2013.

Lutz has experience on Eddie Sutton Court as a head coach, as his second Corpus Christi team played in Stillwater on Dec. 20, 2022. OSU beat the Islanders 81-58 that day. That gave the Islanders a 6-6 start to that season before they would finish the year 18-5.

The three teams Lutz has coached have played a bit differently, but his WKU squad put the pedal to the metal. The Hilltoppers ranked first nationally in KenPom’s adjusted tempo, with their average offensive possession clocking in at 14.6 seconds. One thing that has been fairly consistent among his three teams is Lutz doesn’t lean too heavily on 3-point shooting. Three-pointers have never accounted for more than 30% of the points his team has scored. WKU scored 56.4% of its points from 2-point range this year and just 25.3% from 3 (the rest coming from the foul line).

“I’d like to thank Chad Weiberg and Dr. Shrum for entrusting me with one of college basketball’s most storied programs,” Lutz said in OSU’s release. “It’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. 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.”

OSU fired Mike Boynton after seven seasons with the program in which Boynton went 119-109, including a 12-20 finish this past season.

As of writing, Brandon Garrison, Eric Dailey Jr. and Quion Williams have entered the transfer portal from last season’s OSU team. Including signee Jeremiah Johnson and excluding the three portal entrants, Lutz will have seven scholarships to use this offseason. That number could obviously fluctuate over the coming days.

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