Larry Krystkowiak is in his eighth season as Utah's head coach and has led the Runnin' Utes to five consecutive postseason appearances, which includes a NIT championship final run in 2017-18. Krystkowiak has tallied more than 135 wins over the course of his first seven seasons in Salt Lake City, and to label his rebuilding of the program anything but successful, would be an understatement.
In his now seven seasons as head coach, Krystkowiak has accumulated 138 victories, which includes five consecutive 20-win seasons, a pair of NCAA Tournament berths, and three NIT appearances.
Under Krystkowiak's leadership, Utah became the only school in the Pac-12 to have a player selected in the first round of the NBA Draft from 2015-17. Along with Delon Wright (2015, No. 20) and Jakob Poeltl (2016, No. 9), Kyle Kuzma went No. 27 overall to the New Jersey Nets in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Kuzma was later traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Utes still managed to secure a first-round pick in three straight seasons for the first time since 1997-99 when Keith Van Horn went second overall in 1997, followed by the selections of Michael Doleac (1998) and Andre Miller (1999).
The Utes exceeded all expectations in 2017-18, going 23-12 overall and finishing third in the Pac-12 Conference. The Utes were picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12 standings, but opened league-play with consecutive road wins at Oregon and Oregon State, on the way to an 11-7 mark and the No. 3 seed in the Pac-12 Championship Tournament.
Utah then played in its third NIT under Krystkowiak and made a deep run in the tournament, advancing to the championship final in New York. Utah would fall to Penn State in the championship game, but along the way Utah won four contests in the tournament, including a pair of home wins and a road victory at a then top-25-ranked Saint Mary's team. The Utes would then go on to win its NIT Final Four semifinal contest over Western Kentucky before facing PSU in the final.
During the 2016-17 campaign, Krystkowiak led the team to a 20-12 overall record, which included going 11-7 in Pac-12 play and finishing in sole possession of fourth-place in the conference standings. Krystkowiak helped guide Utah to a 27-9 overall record in 2015-16, which also led to his being named the US Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District VIII Coach of the Year.
The 2015-16 regular season concluded with Poeltl, a sophomore, earning Pac-12 Player of the Year honors – the program's first POY since 2009 – and senior Brandon Taylor earning the program's first-ever Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Poeltl would go on to be named the program's second-consecutive consensus all-American under Krystkowiak, while also taking home the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year awards.
Krystkowiak led the Utes to a 26-9 record, a berth in the Sweet 16 and a No. 15 final national ranking in 2014-15. Utah was ranked in the top 25 for 19 weeks – the most time spent in the national polls since the Final Four campaign of 1997-98. Utah also had its best finish since joining the Pac-12, placing third with a 13-5 conference mark and reaching the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament for the second time in three years.
The Utes defeated Stephen F. Austin and Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament before losing to eventual national champion Duke in the Sweet 16, 63-57.
Individually, Wright won the Bob Cousy Award and was a Wooden All-American selection under Krystkowiak. The senior guard was also named a second team All-American by the USBWA and the NABC. Wright, along with junior guard, Taylor, and freshman center, Poeltl garnered Pac-12 postseason honors.
In 2013-14, Krystkowiak guided the Utes to their first postseason appearance since 2009 and surpassed the 20-win mark.
Wright, in his first season under Krystkowiak's tutelage, went on to earn First Team All-Pac-12 and All-Defensive Team honors, a precedent for Utah men's basketball in the Conference of Champions. Jordan Loveridge continued his development and finished among the top-12 in the league in scoring and rebounding and was Utah's first Pac-12 Player of the Week.
In 2012-13, Krystkowiak led Utah to the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals for the first time in program history and won two postseason games for the first time since winning the Mountain West Conference championship in 2009. The Utes also more than doubled their win total from the previous season by winning 15 games.
Krystkowiak was introduced on April 4, 2011 as the new men's basketball coach at the University of Utah and the man to lead the Runnin' Utes into the next phase of their storied history. Krystkowiak, who has prior head coaching experience in the NCAA, CBA and NBA, left a position as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets to become the 15th head coach in Utah men's basketball history.
In his previous collegiate head coaching post, Krystkowiak led his alma mater, the University of Montana, to a 42-20 record and two NCAA appearances as the Grizzlies' from 2004-06 before joining the NBA coaching ranks.
Krystkowiak spent two seasons as the head coach at Montana. The Grizzlies were Big Sky champions in 2004-05, winning the conference tournament and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. They appeared in the Big Dance in 2006 as well, earning an at-large bid and advancing to the second round with an upset victory over fifth-seed Nevada. It was UM's first NCAA tournament win since 1975.
The only three-time Big Sky MVP in league history and two-time Academic All-American for Montana from 1982-86, Krystkowiak is still the school's all-time career leader in points (2,017) and rebounds (1,105). He was selected in the second round (28th overall pick) of the 1986 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls and played in the league for nine years with San Antonio (1986-87), Milwaukee (1988-92), Utah (1992-93), Orlando (1993-94), Chicago (1994-96) and the Los Angeles Lakers (1996). Over his NBA career, he averaged 8.1 points and 4.1 rebounds a game with his best season in 1988-89 when he averaged 12.7 points and 7.6 rebounds a game for Milwaukee.
Krystkowiak and his wife Jan have five children, sons Cam, Luc, and Ben, along with twin daughters Samantha and Finley.
|2004-05||Montana||18-13 9-5 (2nd)||NCAA 1st Round|
|2005-06||Montana||24-7 10-4 (2nd)||NCAA 2nd Round|
|2011-12||Utah||6-25 3-15 (11th)||- -|
|2012-13||Utah||15-18 5-13 (10th)||- -|
|2013-14||Utah||21-12 9-9 (8th)||NIT 1st Round|
|2014-15||Utah||26-9 13-5 (3rd)||NCAA Sweet 16|
|2015-16||Utah||27-9 13-5 (2nd)||NCAA 2nd Round|
|2016-17||Utah||20-12 11-7 (4th)||NIT 1st Round|
|2017-18||Utah||23-12 11-3 (3rd)||NIT Runner-up|
|Utah Record: 138-97 (.587) - 7 Years|
|College Record: 180-117 (.606) - 9 Years|