Joe Castiglione got his guy.
Oklahoma's athletic director will replace Lon Kruger at the helm of the Oklahoma basketball program with two-time NCAA Tournament Cinderella Porter Moser, of Loyola Chicago.
SI Sooners sources have confirmed multiple reports earlier Friday that the former Rambler man will helm OU hoops after posting a 188-140 record (.573) in 10 seasons at Loyola Chicago, famously taking his team to the 2018 Final Four and the 2021 Sweet Sixteen.
In 17 seasons as a college basketball head coach, Moser has a record of 293-241 (.549).
Moser’s Rambler teams caught the eyes of the nation not just for their deep tournament runs, but for the brand of basketball they play. With an efficient 3-point shooting offense and high-octane defense, Loyola Chicago and team chaplain Sister Jean became easy underdogs to root for.
As an 11-seed, Loyola had an unforgettable run in 2018, beating 6-seed Miami, 3-seed Tennessee, 7-seed Nevada and 9-seed Kansas State before losing to 3-seed Michigan in the Final Four. This year, as an 8-seed, the Ramblers beat 9-seed Georgia Tech in the first round and were dominant in a stunning 71-58 victory over 1-seed Illinois before falling in the Sweet Sixteen to 12-seed Oregon State.
Now, Moser will try to show he can contend night in and night out with the big boys of college basketball, taking on the grind of the Big 12 Conference.
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As the 14th head coach in program history, Moser inherits a team that enjoyed a decade of stability and consistent winning under Kruger.
But he will have some work to do right off the bat trying to reshape the OU roster.
Between the transfer portal and the NBA Draft, the Sooners so far are losing seven players off last year’s squad, which defeated three straight top 15-ranked teams in January.
Moser, a 52-year old native of Naperville, IL, near Chicago, landed at Loyola Chicago in 2011.
His prior head coaching experience included stops at Arkansas-Little Rock and Illinois State. He had success at Arkansas State, leading the Trojans to a 54-34 record (.613) in three seasons before an uneven four seasons at Illinois State. The Redbirds posted a record of 51-67 (.432) before Moser was let go in 2007 following a 15-16 record — Illinois State's third losing season in four years under Moser.
In between Illinois State and Loyola, Moser opted to return to the bench as an assistant coach at Saint Louis. He joined Rick Majerus’ Billiken staff, where he reportedly formed a close bond with the legendary head coach and continued to instill pillars of Majerus' culture in the Ramblers.
Before embarking on his head coaching career, Moser came up at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in Naperville before graduating to the surrounding Benet Academy for high school. As a basketball player, Porter helped his team to three straight West Suburban Catholic Conference Titles.
Moser’s exploits in high school earned him a spot with the Creighton Bluejays to play college basketball for Tony Barone.
Appearing in 102 games for the Bluejays (27 starts), Moser averaged 4.6 points and 1.7 assists per game.
After his playing career ended, Moser moved immediately into coaching, spending a season as a graduate assistant for the Bluejays under Barone. He then bounced around for two stints on Barone's Texas A&M staff and spent a season as an assistant for Ric Cobb at Wisconsin-Milwaukee before landing a job at Arkansas-Little Rock in 1998.
At UALR, Moser joined the staff of long time Alabama coach Wimp Sanderson. Sanderson's final season in Little Rock was 1998-99, however, and the UALR program was handed over to former Razorback and NBA great Sidney Moncrief for a season. Moncrief was fired after a 4-24 record in 1999-2000.
After Moncrief’s departure, Moser took the reins of the Trojan program and immediately guided UALR to an 18-11 record in his first season. He took a team that was ranked last in the Sun Belt Conference in total defense under Moncrief to the top of the league rankings in his first season.
At Loyola, Moser's teams became renowned for patient, even deliberate offense (they ranked sixth nationally this season with a shooting percentage of .498) and tenacious help defense.
The in-demand coach reportedly turned down an eight-year offer worth upwards of $17 million from St. John's just one year after he took the Ramblers to the Final Four.
Moser currently resides in Wilmette, IL, with his wife, Megan. The Mosers also have four children: Jordan, Jake, Ben and Max. His daughter Jordan, the oldest of the Moser children, is currently a walk-on for Loyola’s women’s basketball team.
Though no contract details have been announced, Moser was reportedly mulling over a six-year contract offer from Castiglione before taking the OU job.
According to a 2020 report in the Loyola Phoenix, the university's student newspaper, Moser was the highest-paid employee at the school at nearly $1.155 million a year.
Per USA Today, Kruger was to be paid $3.4 million for his final season at OU before accepting a $330,000 reduction for COVID cutbacks.