The Larry Krystkowiak era at Utah is over after 10 seasons. The Utes and Krystkowiak parted ways on Tuesday, and athletic director Mark Harlan will search for a new men’s basketball coach.
Here’s a look at the Krystkowiak era at Utah.
Krystkowiak takes over for Jim Boylen, who went to the NCAA Tournament with Utah in 2009 but slid after that. Boylen’s final two seasons saw the team go 14-17 and 13-18, and Krystkowiak took over a bare cupboard. Not surprisingly, Krystkowiak struggled in his first season, winning only six games in Utah’s first season as a member of the Pac-12.
Two years after winning six games, Krystkowiak turns in Utah’s first winning season since 2008-09. The core of Delon Wright, Jordan Loveridge and Brandon Taylor, recruited by Krystkowiak, goes 21-12, setting up a run of success for the program.
Utah goes 26-9 and makes the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009, winning a tournament game for the first time since 2005. The Utes beat Stephen F. Austin and Georgetown, setting up a Sweet 16 matchup against Duke. Utah narrowly loses to Duke, but it’s the furthest the program has gone since 2005. The addition of Jakob Poeltl to the team gives Utah its missing piece.
Wright is selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft by the Toronto Raptors. Kyle Kuzma steps up to fill Wright’s departure. The Utes go 27-9 and make the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. Utah beats Fresno State in the first round of the tournament but loses to No. 11 Gonzaga in the second round. Poeltl was the Pac-12 Player of the Year.
Poeltl is drafted ninth overall in the 2015 NBA draft by the Toronto Raptors. Led by Kuzma, the Utes have another 20-win season, but lose to Cal in their first-round game at the Pac-12 tournament, followed by a first-round NIT loss to Boise State.
Kuzma is drafted 27th overall in the NBA draft, ending up with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Utes, led by Justin Bibbins, David Collette and Sedrick Barefield, improve on the 2016-17 season, winning 23 games. They lost to Oregon in the first game of the Pac-12 tournament, and because of the lack of a statement win, fail to make the NCAA Tournament. Utah did get to the NIT championship, losing to Penn State.
Utah has three seasons of mediocrity, going 17-14, 16-15 and 12-13 in Krystkowiak’s final three campaigns. Utah lost in the first game of Pac-12 tournament yet again in 2018-19. The next year featured a win over No. 6 Kentucky, but yet another loss in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. This season was the first losing season for the Utes since 2012-13, but Utah did win a Pac-12 tournament game for the first time since 2016.
In the later years under Krystkowiak, Utah had some regular season success, but the last five years of his tenure were characterized by his teams’ inability to make the NCAA Tournament.