Just two days after the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders fell to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the NCAA Tournament, head coach Steve Lutz arrived in Bowling Green, Ky., to rejuvenate the Western Kentucky basketball program.
This news comes after former coach, Rick Stansbury, resigned from the program after missing nine games this season due to health concerns. Stansbury led the Hilltoppers to a 17-16 record this season before falling to Florida Atlantic in the Conference USA Tournament. He failed to make the NCAA Tournament in seven seasons at the helm.
The program’s last appearance in the Big Dance came in 2015, making this the longest tournament drought for Western Kentucky since 1958-59.
Lutz, who was named the the 2023 Southland Conference Coach of the Year, comes off a two-year stint where he led the Islanders to their second and third ever NCAA Tournament appearances. This season, Texas A&M-CC earned the program’s first ever tourney win with a First Four victory over OVC champion Southeast Missouri State.
Texas A&M-CC was Lutz’s first-ever head coaching job, and he had such an impressive showing with the Islanders that it was enough for the Hilltoppers to name him as their 16th coach in program history.
Before arriving in Corpus Christie, Lutz made his name as an assistant under head coach Matt Painter at Purdue, where he played a large part in the recruitment of 2023 National Player of the Year candidate Zach Edey, as well as being a key piece in the development of current Detroit Piston guard, Jaden Ivey and All-American Carsen Edwards.
Before Purdue, Lutz had stops at Creighton, SMU, Stephen F. Austin and Incarnate Word, all in assistant coaching jobs.
WKU will hold a formal press conference to introduce Lutz and his family to the Hilltopper fans on Monday, where he will speak further on his plans with the program.