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OU basketball: Lon Kruger denies interviewing for UCLA job

Lon Kruger's candidacy for the UCLA coaching job was short-lived. 

Less than two hours after a report surfaced Sunday night that Kruger and Tennessee coach Rick Barnes had interviewed for the UCLA opening, Kruger responded with a brief denial. 

“I have not interviewed for the job at UCLA, nor have I had any contact with anyone from UCLA," Kruger said in a statement released by OU. 

Kruger, 66, is expected to return to the Sooner sidelines next year for what will be his ninth season in Norman. He's led OU to the NCAA Tournament in six of his eight seasons, including a trip to the Final Four in 2016. 

Oklahoma was eliminated by Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament this season. 

Kruger is 639-409 in 33 seasons as a college head coach. Oklahoma has been his longest stop after previous head coaching gigs at Texas Pan-American, Kansas State, Florida, Illinois and UNLV. 

Related Photos
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger applauds his team during the second half of a second-round men's college basketball game against Virginia in the NCAA Tournament in Columbia, S.C., Sunday, March 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger applauds his team during the second half of a second-round men's college basketball game against Virginia in the NCAA Tournament in Columbia, S.C., Sunday, March 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d9b12ffa8daa5df0611f9fdfae5d11bc.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger applauds his team during the second half of a second-round men's college basketball game against Virginia in the NCAA Tournament in Columbia, S.C., Sunday, March 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)" title="Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger applauds his team during the second half of a second-round men's college basketball game against Virginia in the NCAA Tournament in Columbia, S.C., Sunday, March 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)"><figcaption>Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger applauds his team during the second half of a second-round men's college basketball game against Virginia in the NCAA Tournament in Columbia, S.C., Sunday, March 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)</figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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