CHICAGO - Oklahoma has hired Loyola Chicago’s Porter Moser as its men’s basketball coach.
Moser will replace Lon Kruger, who retired last month after 10 years coaching the Sooners.
Moser led Loyola to two deep runs in the NCAA Tournament -- the Ramblers reached the Final Four in 2018 and the Sweet 16 this year. He went 188-141 in 10 years at Loyola and has a 293-242 record in 17 seasons as a college head coach, with stops at Arkansas Little Rock (2000-03) and Illinois State (2003-07).
In 2017-18, the Ramblers went 32-6 that season and charmed the nation in an unexpected run buoyed by one last-second shot after another. Along the way, their 98-year-old nun and team chaplain, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, became a celebrity, with bobbleheads and athletic apparel and national TV interviews. The Ramblers beat Miami (Fla.), Tennessee, Nevada and Kansas State to reach the national semifinal, where they lost to Michigan.
Loyola made another run this year, led by the nation’s stingiest defense. The Ramblers went 26-5 in their fourth straight year with 20 or more wins. They earned their first AP Top 25 ranking since March 1985 and won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament for the second time in four years.
Sister Jean, 101 and fully vaccinated, was on hand for the NCAA Tournament this year. She watched in Indianapolis as Loyola beat ACC Tournament champion Georgia Tech and dominated top-seeded Illinois in the second round before falling to Oregon State.
Moser takes over a program that is used to success — Kruger led the Sooners to a 195-128 record and reached seven of the past eight NCAA tournaments. Oklahoma reached the Final Four in 2016 with Buddy Hield leading the way. In Kruger’s final season at Oklahoma, the Sooners went 16-11 and finished the season with a loss to top-seeded Gonzaga in the second round.