Larry Krystkowiak

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Larry Krystkowiak
22 inches
Larry Krystkowiak in 2007
Utah Utes
Position Head coach
League Pac-12 Conference
Personal information
Born (1964-09-23) September 23, 1964 (age 51)
Missoula, Montana
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school Big Sky (Missoula, Montana)
College Montana (1982–1986)
NBA draft 1986 / Round: 1 / Pick: 28th overall
Selected by the Chicago Bulls
Playing career 1986–1998
Position Power forward
Number 42
Coaching career 1998–present
Career history
As player:
1986–1987 San Antonio Spurs
19871992 Milwaukee Bucks
1992–1993 Utah Jazz
1993–1994 Orlando Magic
1994–1995 Chicago Bulls
1995–1996 Levallois (France)
1997 Los Angeles Lakers
1997–1998 Idaho Stampede (CBA)
As coach:
1998–2000 Montana (assistant)
2001–2002 Old Dominion (assistant)
2003–2004 Idaho Stampede (CBA)
2004–2006 Montana
2006–2007 Milwaukee Bucks (assistant)
20072008 Milwaukee Bucks
2010 USA U18 men's national team
2010–2011 New Jersey Nets (assistant)
2011–present Utah
Career highlights and awards

As coach:

As player:

Career NBA statistics
Points 3,425 (8.2 ppg)
Rebounds 2,051 (4.9 rpg)
Stats at

Larry Brett Krystkowiak (/krsˈkviæk/ kris-KOH-vee-ak;[1] born September 23, 1964) is a retired American professional basketball player, and current head coach of the Utah Utes men's basketball team.[2] His nicknames include Krysko, Special K and Coach 80k.[3]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Missoula, Montana[3] to Bernard and Helen Krystkowiak.[4] At a young age, his mother always encouraged Larry to participate in sports.[5] His mother died of Hodgkin's lymphoma when he was eight years old[6] and his father remarried. He primarily grew up in Shelby, Montana, and his step-mother did not approve of Larry playing sports.[4] At the age of 15, Larry moved out of Shelby and finished his high school career at Big Sky High School in Missoula.[7] During this time he lived with his older brother Bernie,[4] who became Larry's legal guardian.[5]

College career[edit]

Krystkowiak played college basketball for the University of Montana from 1982 to 1986 and still holds the school records for career points scored (2,017) and rebounds (1,105).[8] He is the only person to have been named Big Sky Conference MVP three times (1984–1986).[9]

Professional playing career[edit]

Krystkowiak was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the 2nd round (28th overall pick) of the 1986 NBA Draft. He played power forward for nine seasons in the NBA, spending the bulk of his career with the Milwaukee Bucks. He also played for the San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. In the 1988–89 season he averaged 12.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and over 30 minutes per game for the Bucks.[3] Over his NBA career, he averaged 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest.[3]

Early coaching career[edit]

Krystkowiak began his coaching career in 1998 as an assistant to Don Holst at his alma mater, the University of Montana. He coached at Montana until 2000 when he left to join Old Dominion as an assistant under former Griz head coach, Blaine Taylor.[9] He spent one season (2001–2002) at Old Dominion.

Krystkowiak got his first opportunity as a head coach with the CBA's Idaho Stampede in 2003–04. In his single season as the Stampede's head coach, he led the team to a 37–16 record and a CBA championship game berth.[8]

He was hired as head men's basketball coach at the University of Montana in May 2004. He led the Griz to a 42–20 overall record over the course of the next two seasons, reaching the NCAA tournament each year as a result of winning the Big Sky Conference tourney. In 2006 the Grizzlies beat heavily favored, fifth seed, Nevada, in the NCAA Tournament.

Milwaukee Bucks and NBA[edit]

In June 2006 Krystkowiak left Montana to take a job as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks under Terry Stotts. Krystkowiak was responsible for working with the Milwaukee's big men, notably second year players Andrew Bogut and Charlie Villanueva.[10] He was named head coach of the team on March 14, 2007, after Stotts was fired. Stotts had led the Bucks to a 23–41 record during the 2006–07 season.[11] He signed a reported 4-year contract with the Bucks, with an average annual salary of $2 million[12] Krystkowiak's NBA head coaching debut on March 15, 2007, resulted in a 101–90 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

On April 17, 2008, Krystkowiak was fired as Milwaukee Bucks head coach after a disappointing season in which the Bucks compiled the league's sixth worst record.[13]

In July 2010 Krystkowiak joined the New Jersey Nets coaching staff alongside Avery Johnson and Sam Mitchell.[14]

University of Utah[edit]

On April 3, 2011, it was announced that Krystkowiak would take over the head coaching position for the University of Utah men's basketball team, as they transitioned into Utah's first season in the newly realigned Pac-12.[4]

After being named Utah's head coach, eight (8) players left the program to play elsewhere. Krystkowiak was forced to bring in several junior college and walk-on players to fill his depleted roster. In a season where starting center, David Foster, missed the entire season and starting point guard, Josh "Jiggy" Watkins, was dismissed halfway through, Krystkowiak and the Utes struggled to a 6-25 finish, including only three wins against their new Pac-12 opponents.

The 2012-2013 season showed much improvement for Krystkowiak's Utes. The additions of freshmen Jordan Loveridge and Brandon Taylor, as well as great play and leadership from senior center Jason Washburn, would help Utah more than double their win total from the previous season. On March 9, 2013, Utah closed out its season by defeating No. 19 Oregon, celebrating Senior Night at the Huntsman Center with the program's first victory over a ranked opponent since 2009. Utah then defeated USC and California in the first and second rounds of the Pac-12 tournament before losing a rematch with Oregon, the eventual champion.

Krystkowiak's third season saw the 2013-2014 Runnin' Utes reach their first postseason tournament under the coach. The addition of transfer point guard Delon Wright and an improved core of players led Utah to a 21-12 record, receiving an at-large bid to the NIT.

The National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame nominated Krystkowiak for its Class of 2013.[15]

BYU-Utah Rivalry Controversy[edit]

In January 2016, Krystkowiak ignited national uproar over a decision to end the longstanding BYU-Utah basketball rivalry over concerns for player safety.[16]

BYU fans began calling Coach Krystkowiak Coach 80k, in reference to the $80,000 breach of contract penalty the University of Utah was required to pay to end the deal. Utah legislators threatened to take action to restore the 7th longest running rivalry in NCAA basketball history during the upcoming 2016 legislative season.[17] For his part, Krystkowiak later clarified that part of his reasoning for cancelling the rivalry were personal concerns about his inability to control his own temper.

"There’s part of this that I’m actually protecting myself from myself,” [Krystkowiak] said. “And I don’t now how I would come across with our players in the week leading up to the BYU game, maybe with a little bit of the toxin and venom that I have inside me. It puts me in a bit of a quandary. I don’t have a problem with what people think. I know what I know. I know what I feel. And I know that I’m in charge of a bunch of young men right now, and I need to talk about discipline and self-control."[18]

National media were quick to condemn the action, with Sports Illustrated columnist Seth Davis writing, "With all do respect, if Krystkowiak is that concerned about controlling his own temper, maybe he is in the wrong business."[19]

Meanwhile, former players on both teams were quick to condemn the series cancellation and urged Krystkowiak and Utah to restore the game. Ute legend Keith Van Horn stated if he won the lottery he would pay Utah to play BYU every year[20] while former BYU player Mark Durrant wrote an open letter to Krystkowiak, encouraging the Ute coach to reconsider.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Larry and his wife, Jan, have five children, Cam, Luc, Ben and twin girls Samantha and Finley.[8] He has only seen his father once in over 30 years, because of the issues in his early life.[6]

Head coaching record[edit]

Larry Krystkowiak's record as a head coach.


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
G W L Pct Finish Result
Idaho Stampede 2003–04[8] 53 37 16 .698 Lost CBA championship game

Men's college basketball[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Montana Grizzlies (Big Sky Conference) (2004–2006)
2004–05 Montana 18–13 9–5 2nd NCAA First Round
2005–06 Montana 24–7 10–4 2nd NCAA Second Round
Montana: 42–20 (.677) 19–9 (.679)
Utah Utes (Pac-12 Conference) (2011–present)
2011–12 Utah 6–25 3–15 11th
2012–13 Utah 15–18 5–13 10th
2013–14 Utah 21–12 9–9 T–8th NIT First Round
2014–15 Utah 26–9 13–5 T–2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2015–16 Utah 16-5 5-3
Utah: 82–66 (.538) 34–42 (.447)
Total: 123–86 (.589)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Milwaukee 2006–07 18 5 13 .278 5th in Central Missed playoffs
Milwaukee 2007–08 82 26 56 .317 5th in Central Missed playoffs
Career 100 31 69 .310

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d databaseBasketball entry
  4. ^ a b c d
  5. ^ a b He Has Taken Some Tough Shots
  6. ^ a b Basketball Times. Vol. 34. No.1. Sept 2011.
  7. ^ Tribune Staff. "125 Montana Newsmakers: Larry Krystkowiak". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d bio Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "NBABio" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  9. ^ a b Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "KryskoHiredAtUM" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  10. ^ Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
  11. ^ Krystkowiak replaces Stotts
  12. ^ 15, 2007&id=20650 info on Krytkowiak/Bucks contract
  13. ^ story on Bucks firing
  14. ^ Mitchell, Krystkowiak join Nets staff
  15. ^ "Election results". National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on June 21, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Utah men's basketball: Utes erase BYU from 2016 schedule". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  17. ^ "Even state legislators are weighing in on Utah-BYU rivalry suspension". Sporting News. Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  18. ^ "Krystkowiak defends and explains his decision to cancel next year's Utah-BYU basketball game". Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  19. ^ "Mailbag: Canceling Utah-BYU was the wrong decision". Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  20. ^ "Keith Van Horn on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  21. ^ "BYU broadcaster Mark Durrant writes open letter to Larry Krystkowiak". Retrieved 2016-01-14. 

External links[edit]