The University of Utah announced today the hiring of Larry Krystkowiak as the school's 15th head basketball coach. Krystkowiak, who has spent most of the 2010-11 season as an assistant with the New Jersey Nets, returns to the college ranks for the first time since he led the Montana Grizzlies five years ago.
He has signed a five-year deal worth $950,000 a year. A press conference will be held tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the Huntsman Center.
Krystkowiak spent two seasons at Montana as head coach of the Grizzlies, leading them to a 42-20 record and two NCAA appearances. In his second, and subsequently last season with Montana, the Grizzlies upset the Nevada WolfPack in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before eventually bowing out to Boston College in the second round.
After a successful two-year stint with Montana, Krystkowiak left to become an assistant on the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. In March 2007, he was promoted to head coach - a position he would retain for the remainder of the season and then the entirety of the 2007-'08 NBA season. He was fired on April 17th, 2008.
Prior to coaching at Montana, Krystkowiak was the head coach of the Idaho Stampede for one year and an assistant coach under Blaine Taylor in 2000 at Old Dominion and before that, Don Holst for two seasons at Montana.
Krystkowiak has five years of collegiate coaching experience and is considered a very good coach and motivator, but also has limited recruiting history. Which means this hire will sink or swim on the assistants he brings with him.
I'd like to welcome Krystkowiak to the Ute family. I might not be entirely excited about this hire, but he is a Utah coach now and hopefully he's the man to turn around Utah basketball.