Recruiting is a big reason why Steve Lutz is Purdue’s new assistant basketball coach.
It’s not the only one, but the fact Lutz was a key figure in landing the talent to propel Creighton to national prominence was big as Boiler coach Matt Painter searched for the replacement for Jack Owens, now the head coach at Miami of Ohio.
Purdue announced Lutz’s hiring on Thursday morning.
“I’m excited to welcome Steve Lutz to our coaching staff,” Painter said in a university release. “Steve has a passion and energy for this profession and a track record of success both in recruiting and on the court. He has worked for a great person and coach in Greg McDermott and helped them achieve great success at Creighton. We’re looking forward to his arrival in West Lafayette and for him to start working with our guys and hitting the recruiting trail.”
The teams where Lutz has coached have a combined 386-239 record.
As Creighton’s recruiting coordinator, Lutz helped land five-star center Justin Patton in the fall of 2015, as well as All-Big East guard Marcus Foster, a Kansas State transfer. After a redshirt season, Patton went on to be named the Big East freshman of the year after averaging 12.9 points and 6.2 rebounds. He was one of 12 finalists for the Wayman Tisdale national freshman-of-the-year award, and projects as a first-round pick in the upcoming NBA draft.
Lutz, 44, worked with big men and helped develop Doug McDermott into an All-American and the 2014 national player of the year while becoming just the third college player to total 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
Lutz also helped Creighton land one of the nation’s top recruiting classes in 2010 and 2017.
During his seven years at Creighton the Blue Jays went 166-82 with four NCAA Tournament appearances. They won 29 games in the 2011-12 season and were 11-3 against Big Ten teams.
This past season Creighton was ranked as high as No. 7 while building an 18-1 record that included wins over Wisconsin, Arizona State, Nebraska, Mississippi, North Carolina State and Seton Hall.
Then standout point guard Maurice Watson suffered a season-ending injury and Creighton never recovered.
Lutz also was the recruiting coordinator at SMU in the previous four years. The Mustangs had two top-35 recruiting classes during his time there.
Before that he was the recruiting coordinator at Stephen F. Austin, plus was an assistant coach at Incarnate Word in San Antonio. He also coached a season at Garden City Community College.
Lutz played three years for Texas Lutheran
“I have always had respect for Coach Painter and Purdue University and was thrilled when he offered me the opportunity to join his staff,” Lutz said in the release. “When you think of Purdue basketball from the outside, you immediately think of the culture, family and toughness that it represents.
“There is an incredible passion to be successful here and that is evident by how the fan base, the administration and the coaching staff approaches everything they do. This is a great opportunity for myself and my family and I am ready to help Purdue basketball win a national title. I’m excited to dig in and get to work.”
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