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Lon Kruger, head basketball coach for the Atlanta Hawks, has had his share of success as a basketball player and coach. Before signing on as head coach with the Hawks, Kruger was the head coach at the University of Illinois, where he led the Fighting Illini to an 81-48 overall record and three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Kruger compiled a 318-233 record in his 18 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including six years at the University of Florida. Kruger's 1994 Gator squad posted a 29-8 record and advanced to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history. He guided Florida to postseason play four times.
Before his stops at Florida and Illinois, Kruger spent four seasons at his alma mater, Kansas State University. He began his college head coaching career at Texas-Pan American University in 1983. As a coach, he received the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year award in 1992 and 1994, the NABC District Coach of the Year award in 1988 and 1994, and the State of Illinois Collegiate Coach of the Year Award in 1997. In 1999 he was inducted into the State of Kansas Hall of Fame and selected to the NABC Silver Anniversary Team. An outstanding athlete at Kansas State, Kruger starred in both basketball and baseball and was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks and the Houston Astros.
Kruger and his wife, Barbara, have two children, Angie and Kevin, and reside in the Atlanta area.
Homer Drew has been head basketball coach a successful collegiate head coach since 1976. He has been at Valparaiso University since 1988. In that time he has led the Crusaders to six straight Mid-Continent Conference tournament championships and five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances as well as five Mid-Continent regular season titles. In 1998 the Crusaders advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
Under Drew's guidance, the Crusaders won 20 or more games for six straight seasons in the 1990s. With numerous successful seasons under his belt, Drew is Valparaiso University's winningest coach and has received the Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year award three times (1993-94, 1994-95, and 1995-96). The Crusaders led the nation in three-point field goal percentage for the 1992-93 season.
Before taking over at Valparaiso University, Drew rebuilt programs at Bethel College (Ind.) and Indiana University-South Bend. He was named the NCCAA District Coach of the Year in 1978, 1980, 1982, and 1983 while at Bethel.
Drew and his wife, Janet, reside in Valparaiso, Indiana. They have three grown children, Scott, Dana, and Bryce. Bryce is a guard with the Houston Rockets.
Barry Collier is currently head basketball coach at the University of Nebraska. Previously, Collier spent 11 years as head basketball coach at his alma mater, Butler University. Under his guidance, the Bulldogs posted nine winning seasons and a record of 196-132, including five seasons with 20 or more victories.
Collier led the Bulldogs to three NCAA Tournament and three National Invitation Tournament appearances and two Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) regular season titles. Collier was named MCC Coach of the Year in 1991, 1997, 1999, and 2000.
Collier's teams have been recognized as some of the most disciplined in the nation. His teams' success comes from a notable defense and a well-schooled offense, making an excellent all-around program.
Collier and his wife, Annette, have three sons, Casey, Brady, and Clay. They reside in Lincoln, Nebraska.
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