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Larry Krystkowiak shares thank-you message with Utah Utes community

Utah Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak and players watch as they trail the Oregon Ducks in the final minutes of the game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021.
FILE: Former Utah Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak, who was fired March 16, 2021, shared a thank you message with the Utah community on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

A little over a week after parting ways with the University of Utah as the school’s men’s basketball coach, Larry Krystkowiak shared a heartfelt thank-you message with the Utah community on Wednesday.

“Thank you to the State of Utah, the City of Salt Lake and the University community for a wonderful decade up here on The Hill,” Krystkowiak said in the message. “I am very fortunate to have met and worked with so many amazing people during my time here. I’m grateful to have forger many lifelong relationships and forever thankful for each and every one of them.”

Krystkowiak was fired March 16, just days after his 10th season as the Utes’ head coach ended in a 12-13 record.

“To our players, thank you for believing in us and setting a culture of excellence on and off the court — which I couldn’t be more proud of,” he wrote. “It was an absolute privilege and an honor to be your coach. To our staff, thank you for your commitment to this program, the university, and for your unwavering love and support for our student-athletes.”

The 56-year-old Krystkowiak went 183-139 as Utah’s head coach, including a 91-90 mark in Pac-12 play, and he led the program to the NCAA Tournament twice — in 2015, when they reached the Sweet 16, and 2016. The program has been in decline in recent years, though, including this season, which was the third losing season under Krystkowiak.

Krystkowiak also thanked former Utah athletic director Chris Hill, who hired the coach back in 2011. Hill retired in 2018 and was replaced by current Utes athletic director Mark Harlan.

“Last, but not least, I would like to thank Dr. Hill for believing in me and our mission. Utah will always hold a special place in our hearts, and we will be cheering for the Runnin’ Utes,” Krystkowiak said.