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Red All Over: It’s tough to argue against moving on from Larry Krystkowiak

Krystkowiak was 180-139 in 10 seasons, but hadn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2016

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak disputes a call as the University of Utah host the Arizona Wildcats, Feb. 4, 2021 at the Jon M. Huntsman Arena.

As this University of Utah basketball coaching search begins to unfold, I’m not going to ramble on here about whether or not Larry Krystkowiak should have been fired. You watch the games, you know the record, you can make up your own mind.

What I will tell you is, college basketball coaching is a bottom-line business, and however you view this thing, Krystkowiak’s bottom line was not good enough. Guys have been fired for more than two NCAA Tournaments in 10 seasons, and none in the last five.

The majority of the fan base, as far as I can tell in my 15 months on this beat, is not upset, nor is it angry, but it is apathetic. Apathy is a killer, because if you’re upset or angry, at least you’re showing some emotion. Apathy means you’re completely tuned out. You’re not happy with the product, you’re not mad with the product, you’re just disinterested, and disinterested people do not fill the Huntsman Center.

I find Krystkowiak to be a good guy with a dry wit. He was accommodating, he was often enlightening, he generally answered questions thoughtfully, and, frankly, he responded to inquiries, which, to me, was an added bonus. The money he gave to causes and the people he helped, financially or otherwise, along the way mostly stayed in the dark, which is how he preferred it.

If any of that counted, he would be the coach at Utah for eternity, but it doesn’t. He didn’t win enough, and that’s why Utah is now in search of its next basketball coach.

Welcome to the bottom line.

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