Moser leaving Loyola to become Oklahoma's next coach

  • Porter Moser watches from the bench during the first half of the Sweet 16 game against Oregon State. Moser is in the middle of finalizing a deal to become Oklahoma's head coach, according to reports.

    Porter Moser watches from the bench during the first half of the Sweet 16 game against Oregon State. Moser is in the middle of finalizing a deal to become Oklahoma's head coach, according to reports. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/2/2021 7:26 PM

After 10 eventful years in Rogers Park, it appears Loyola men's basketball coach Porter Moser is moving on to Oklahoma, where he'll replace the retired Lon Kruger.

There was nothing official from either school as of early Friday evening, but the move was reported by several news outlets.

 

Moser leaves Loyola with a 188-141 record, but went 99-36 over the past four years. The Ramblers made a memorable, improbable Final Four run in 2018 featuring three straight game-winning baskets in the final 10 seconds.

This year, Loyola returned to the NCAA Tournament and upset No. 1 seed Illinois in the second round. A poor-shooting night ended the Ramblers' season with a Sweet 16 loss to Oregon State.

Moser wouldn't discuss his coaching situation after Loyola's 65-58 lost in the regional semifinal. He said it was too soon to think about his own future in the minutes after a season-ending loss.

"I just need to take a breath with these guys," Moser said. "It's been very, very tough, when you build a relationship with these guys and you see the season end."

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"I know a lot of things were swirling outside around me. I can't help that. The only thing I was focusing on was giving 110 percent of my preparation, my energy, my love to these players through this time."

Moser, 52, is a Naperville native who attended Benet Academy, then played in college at Creighton. He was previously head coach at Arkansas-Little Rock and Illinois State, then worked as an assistant at Saint Louis before getting another chance at a head job with Loyola.

There were also several reports that Loyola made a strong effort to keep Moser at the school, offering a 10-year extension. It's probably safe to say Sister Jean was not part of the deal to go to Oklahoma.

But this could be the right time for Moser to test himself in a stronger conference. Algonquin native Cameron Krutwig and guard Lucas Williamson both completed their senior seasons. The NCAA gave everyone an extra year of eligibility because of the pandemic, but it's unclear if either player is considering a return.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

As far as a replacement, Jeff Goodman from Stadium tweeted that it would be a surprise if assistant coach Drew Valentine is not elevated to the head job. The older brother of Bulls guard Denzel Valentine led the defensive effort in both of Loyola's tournament runs.

Drew Valentine, 30, previously spent time as an assistant at his alma mater, Oakland University, and two years as a grad assistant at Michigan State.

If Loyola wants a more experienced coach, it could take a swing at Milwaukee's Pat Baldwin. The former Northwestern point guard was a Loyola assistant for eight years under Jim Whitesell. His son Patrick Jr., is one of the top five ranked players in the Class of 2021 and still uncommitted.

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