Western Kentucky has hired Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Steve Lutz as its new men’s basketball coach, the school announced on Saturday.
Lutz is coming off back-to-back men’s NCAA tournament appearances, guiding the Islanders to a Southland regular-season title this season. They beat Southeast Missouri State in the First Four earlier this week before falling to Alabama 96-75 in the first round Thursday.
“I am very excited and appreciative of the opportunity to be the next head coach at Western Kentucky,” Lutz said in a statement. “This is a storied program with a rich history of success. Our teams will wear the WKU uniform with pride and represent the Hilltopper Nation in everything we do. I look forward to meeting our players, and our family is looking forward to joining the Bowling Green community. Go Tops!”
In two seasons at Corpus Christi, Lutz is 47-23 overall and 21-11 in conference play.
Prior to being hired as a head coach, Lutz was a longtime assistant coach at different levels of college basketball, most notably seven seasons at Creighton under Greg McDermott and four seasons at Purdue under Matt Painter. During his time with the Boilermakers, Lutz helped recruit Wooden Award front-runner Zach Edey to West Lafayette.
“We are excited to name Steve Lutz as our next head coach,” said Western Kentucky University director of athletics Todd Stewart in a statement. “He is a proven winner and a respected coach with a track record of consistent success in recruiting, player development, academics, and community involvement.”
Lutz began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Incarnate Word in 1995.
At Western Kentucky, he replaces Rick Stansbury, who left his post earlier this month after seven seasons with the Hilltoppers. They failed to reach the NCAA tournament in any of his seven seasons. Prior to Stansbury’s tenure, Western Kentucky had a strong recent NCAA tournament history, going seven times under three coaches from 2001 to 2013 — including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2008 under Darrin Horn.