Larry Krystkowiak’s time as head men’s basketball coach at the University of Utah is over.
On Tuesday evening, the university released a statement from athletic director Mark Harlan which read, “Today, I informed Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Krystkowiak that I am making a change in the leadership of our men’s basketball program. The decision comes after a thorough evaluation of the program—both on and off of the court—as I do with every head coach at the conclusion of their seasons.
“Ultimately, our program needs a new voice, a new vision and a new leader who can build upon Larry’s foundation and lead us to greater heights in the years ahead. Larry has always been dedicated to our student-athletes, to our University and to the Salt Lake City community, and I am grateful for his decade of service to the University of Utah.
“In addition, he and his wife Jan have been incredibly generous in supporting University and community initiatives. I want to wish Larry, Jan and their family the very best. The costs associated with this termination and the hiring of a new head coach and staff will be fully funded from athletically-generated resources. We will launch an immediate national search for a new head coach.”
College basketball insider Jon Rothstein first reported Tuesday a short time before Harlan’s statement was released that the school had parted ways with Krystkowiak, who has led the program since 2011. Multiple outlets followed with the news shortly after.
The Utes have been in decline in recent seasons and finished just 12-13 this season. That came after they went 16-15 last season and 17-14 the year before. Perhaps more importantly, Utah has struggled in Pac-12 play. It went 8-11 this season after going 7-11 last season.
That has come after trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and 2016, the first of which saw the Utes get to the Sweet Sixteen with future NBA players Jakob Poeltl and Kyle Kuzma. Krystkowiak also recruited and coached a third NBA player, Delon Wright.
The appearances in the Big Dance were a long way away from where the program was when Krystkowak took over in 2011. In his first season with a roster full of players who he had to sign late after getting the job, Utah went just 6-25 but steadily built up from there.
In recent years, however, the program has seen numerous player departures after each season, making attempts to build difficult.