Utah hires Krystkowiak after Bennett's rejection

Utah hires Krystkowiak after Bennett's rejection

April 3, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY (APCSN) The University of Utah hired New Jersey Nets assistant Larry Krystkowiak as their coach Sunday, picking him to lead the Utes into the Pac-12 Conference.The move came three weeks after athletic director Chris Hill fired Jim Boylen following consecutive losing seasons. Krystkowiak, who was traveling Sunday, will be introduced Monday.
Comcast SportsNet first reported that Saint Mary's head coach Randy Bennett had rejected an offer to be the next coach at Utah.RELATED: SMC basketball coach Bennett says no to Utah
The 46-year-old Krystkowiak has been an assistant with the New Jersey the past eight months. He played for the Jazz in 1992-93 as part of nine injury-plagued NBA seasons after being drafted in the second round (28th overall) in 1986 by the Chicago Bulls."I'm excited for Larry," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "We're going to be losing a man of strong character, solid family, really good basketball coach. (He) did a lot of nice things for us this year behind the scenes. So I really enjoyed working with him. We think this is a great opportunity for him. He talked about getting back to college and we think it's really good timing for him. So again, we're excited for him."This will be Krystkowiak's fourth head coaching job.He was fired in 2008 after going 31-69 in one-plus season coaching the Milwaukee Bucks. He also went 42-20 with a pair of NCAA tournament bids in two seasons at Montana, and was 37-16 with the Idaho Stampede in 2003-04, leading them to the CBA title game.The hire is an important one for Hill, now on his third coach since Rick Majerus departed.Hill gave Boylen a contract extension after a 2008-09 season that saw the Utes go 24-10 and win a share of the Mountain West Conference regular-season title. Because of that extension, Boylen is receiving a 2 million severance package.Hill also hired Ray Giacoletti, but fired him four years ago after a 54-40 mark.Neither could match the success of Majerus, a fan favorite and cult figure during 14-plus seasons at Utah. Under Majerus, the Utes qualified for the NCAA tournament 10 times, advancing to the regional semifinals twice and the national championship game in 1998.His overall mark before leaving for health-related reasons was 323-95, and crowds filled Huntsman Arena regularly. There were plenty of empty seats as the Utes went 3-5 at home in conference play this season.It will only get tougher with the Utes jumping to the Pac-12.Asked if moving to a major conference would be a problem for Krystkowiak, Johnson said, "It's a bigger problem, but it can also be a big reward," he said. "That will not only be exciting for them from a basketball point of view, but for football also."I wouldn't focus on the big problem," Johnson said. "I would focus on that they have a chance to really become one of the basketball powers in that conference because they are going to an elite conference. Right now, with what is happening with the Butlers and VCUs, anybody can elevate pretty quickly."Hill, who was unavailable for comment Sunday, wanted to move fast and cast a wide net.This was his second attempt to hire Krystkowiak - he went after him after firing Giacoletti, but Krystkowiak took the Bucks job instead. Other names Hill reportedly considered include Bennett and former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried.With Krystkowiak, the Utes get a coach with a background not that different from Boylen, who had experience in both college and the NBA. Among the players Krystkowiak coached with the Bucks was former Utah All-American Andrew Bogut.Krystkowiak appeared in 71 games with the Jazz in 1992-93 and averaged just over seven points, but that one year under Jerry Sloan greatly influenced his coaching style."Jerry would never know it, but I loved his demeanor," Krystkowiak said in a Jazz website feature. "He doesn't wear anybody out with a lot of words, but when he opens his mouth, what he says is valid and you'd better be listening to what he is saying. I like his hard-driving style and having played under a number of different coaches, I enjoyed being underneath him."

Despite losing record with Rams, Fisher gets contract extension

Despite losing record with Rams, Fisher gets contract extension

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Los Angeles Rams have given coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead contract extensions.

Rams spokesman Artis Twyman confirmed the moves before Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. The deal for Fisher was first reported by the NFL Network, which said it was a two-year extension through 2018.

Twyman said he couldn't comment on terms of the deals. He said, "I think that's something coach Fisher will discuss after the game."

In his fifth season with the Rams, the first four in St. Louis, Fisher has presided over a 31-43-1 record. They have yet to finish above .500 in his tenure and they haven't made the playoffs since 2004.

Snead also became the Rams' general manager in 2012, taking over a 2-14 team.

Both Fisher and Snead were in the final month of their deals. Owner Stan Kroenke, who moved the franchise from St. Louis to Los Angeles this year, has praised Fisher, a Southern California native, for capably shepherding the team's move.

Fisher was in a similar position in 1997 when the Houston Oilers moved to Nashville. He oversaw that transition during his fourth season in charge of that franchise, and by 1999 the Titans were AFC champions, losing, coincidentally, to the Rams in the Super Bowl.

Fisher coached the Titans through 2010, then was hired by the Rams after sitting out the 2011 season.

Fisher also has been a co-chairman of the NFL's powerful Competition Committee, which helps set the rules.

Before joining the Rams, Snead spent 13 seasons in the Falcons' front office.

NBA Gameday: Kings in Big Apple, look to slow down Porzingis, Knicks

NBA Gameday: Kings in Big Apple, look to slow down Porzingis, Knicks

The Sacramento Kings hit the Big Apple Sunday evening in hopes of snapping their two-game losing streak. Standing in there way is a rebuilt and reinvigorated New York Knicks team.

DeMarcus Cousins had his four-game streak of games with 30 or more points snapped Friday night. He finished the game with 28, but he missed a two-minute stretch in the mid-fourth quarter with a cut next to his right eye that required eight stitches after the loss to the Celtics.

New York is coming off back-to-back wins over the Minnesota Timberwolves and they are 7-3 over their last 10. Carmelo Anthony leads the way, averaging 22.6 points per game, but second-year big Kristaps Porzingis and veteran Derrick Rose are both posting big numbers under head coach Jeff Hornacek.

Knicks by 2

Rudy Gay vs. Carmelo Anthony -- These two grew up in the same area of Maryland and know each other very well. After a quick start to the season, Gay’s numbers have dropped over Sacramento’s last eight games. He comes in averaging 19.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in 34.7 minutes per game. Anthony hasn’t showed any signs of slowing in year 14. The 11-time All-Star is a tough cover and Gay will have his hands full.

Kings: 7-12, fourth place in Pacific

Knicks: 10-9, third place in Atlantic

Kings: No injuries to report.

Knicks: C Joakim Noah (ankle) questionable, Courtney Lee (ankle) questionable.

Sacramento swept the Knicks last year 2-0 in the season series. The Kings hold a 153-142 advantage over the Knicks all-time, but New York leads 33-29 during the Sacramento-era.

“If we don’t figure this thing out, we’re going to continue to have these types of games and just another losing season.” -DeMarcus Cousins following the Kings loss in Boston on Friday night