Oklahoma State Hiring Western Kentucky's Steve Lutz, Per Report

Lutz has taken teams to the NCAA tournament in three consecutive seasons.
Western Kentucky v Marquette
Western Kentucky v Marquette / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Oklahoma State is set to hire Western Kentucky's Steve Lutz as the school's next men's basketball coach. Matt Norlander and Kyle Boone broke the news. Lutz has reached the NCAA tournament in each of the last three seasons while coaching two different programs. He has been considered a rising star in the coaching world.

Western Kentucky finished the 2023-24 season with a 22-11 record and was third in Conference USA. But the Hilltoppers won the CUSA tournament to earn a berth in the Big Dance as a No. 15 seed. They were beaten by Marquette in the First Round. It was Lutz's first season at WKU.

He spent the previous two seasons at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, posting an impressive record of 47-23 (.671). The Islanders won the Southland Conference tournament in 2022 to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament's First Four. In 2023, they finished 24-11, won the Southland Conference regular season and tournament titles and earned a spot in the field of 64. Western Kentucky was quick to snatch him up.

The 51-year-old Lutz has a fantastic pedigree. He spent seven seasons as an assistant at Creighton working under Greg McDermott, who is one of the nation's most underrated head coaches. From there he moved to Purdue, where he coached under Matt Painter for four years before getting the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi job.

On the surface, this looks like a solid hire for Oklahoma State. The program struggled to find consistency in seven seasons under Mike Boynton, going 119-109 (.522) and 51-75 in conference. The Cowboys only reached the NCAA tournament once, advancing to the Second Round in 2021. They were ineligible for postseason play in 2022 due to a player receiving improper benefits.

Oklahoma State went 12-20 this year, and finished tied for 13th in the Big 12 with a 4-14 record. Boynton was fired soon after. Lutz will now take over a program looking to rebuild.

Ryan Phillips is a senior writer at The Big Lead.


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Ryan Phillips

RYAN PHILLIPS

Ryan Phillips is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Ryan has worked in digital media since 2009, spending eight years at The Big Lead before joining the SI team in 2024. He also co-hosts The Assembly Call Podcast about Indiana Hoosiers basketball and previously worked at Bleacher Report. Ryan is a proud San Diego native and a graduate of Indiana University’s journalism school.