Lutz, the 16th head coach in program history, led Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to back-to-back Southland Conference Tournament championships — plus the 2022-23 regular-season title — and NCAA Tournament appearances.
The Islanders had four straight losing seasons before Lutz's arrival, including a 5-19 campaign in 2020-21. They went 23-12 in his first season and won the conference title. The Islanders went 24-11 this season, repeated as SLC champs and won their NCAA Tournament play-in game against Southeast Missouri State before losing Thursday to top-seeded Alabama 96-75.
— WKU Hilltopper Basketball (@WKUBasketball) March 18, 2023
"I am very excited and appreciative of the opportunity to be the next head coach at Western Kentucky," Lutz said in a statement. "This is a storied program with a rich history of success. Our teams will wear the WKU uniform with pride and represent the Hilltopper Nation in everything we do. I look forward to meeting our players, and our family is looking forward to joining the Bowling Green community. Go Tops!"
Cardinals basketball:How Kenny Payne plans to rebuild Louisville with transfer portal and recruiting
Before taking over Texas A&M-CC's program, the San Antonio native spent the previous four years as an assistant coach at Purdue under longtime coach Matt Painter. The Boilermakers went 90-42 (53-24 Big Ten) and made the Elite Eight in 2019 with Lutz on staff. He is credited with helping recruit national player of the year candidate Zach Edey to Purdue.
Painter called the hire a "home run" and new Louisville football coach Jeff Brohm, whose tenure as Purdue's head coach overlapped with Lutz's time in West Lafayette, Indiana, called Lutz an "extremely hard worker and tireless recruiter who will build special bonds and relationships with all his players."
Lutz takes over exactly a week after coach Rick Stansbury announced he was stepping down. Stansbury led the Hilltoppers for seven seasons and made three Conference USA Tournament championship games, losing all of them. They went 139-89 during his tenure but never made the NCAA Tournament and finished 17-16 (8-12) this season.
Follow assistant sports editor Jake Adams on Twitter @jakeadams520 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: New WKU basketball coach Steve Lutz brings NCAA Tournament experience