WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue men’s basketball head coach Matt Painter announced today that Creighton assistant coach Steve Lutz has joined the Boilermakers’ coaching staff.
The 44-year old Lutz helped Creighton to its most successful stretch in school history and is widely considered one of the top recruiters in the country.
“I’m excited to welcome Steve Lutz to our coaching staff,” Painter said. “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.”
“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. “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 fanbase, 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.”
Lutz spent the previous seven seasons at Creighton (2010-11 to 2016-17), helping the Bluejays to a 166-82 combined record, four NCAA Tournament appearances, a pair of conference tournament championships and a regular-season title. The 29 wins during the 2011-12 season were a school record as the Bluejays won the Missouri Valley regular-season title and finished the year ranked No. 19 in the country. In three seasons from 2011 to 2014, the Bluejays won 84 games. During his time at Creighton, he helped the Bluejays to an 11-3 record against teams from the Big Ten.
This past year, the Bluejays were considered a legitimate Final Four contender, reaching as high as No. 7 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and opening the season with a 13-0 record featuring wins over Wisconsin, Nebraska, Arizona State, Seton Hall, Ole Miss and North Carolina State. The Bluejays were 18-1 when starting point guard Maurice Watson went down with a knee injury, hurting Creighton’s chances.
His recruiting efforts were central in the Bluejays landing five-star center Justin Patton in the fall of 2015 as well as All-Big East guard Marcus Foster (Kansas State transfer). After a redshirt season, Patton was the Big East Freshman of the Year and was 1-of-12 finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year award. He is projected to go anywhere from Nos. 12 to 19 in the upcoming NBA Draft after averaging 12.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, while recording an astonishing 72 dunks during his rookie season.
Working with big men, Lutz played a role in helping develop 2014 National Player of the Year Doug McDermott, a consensus first-team All-American and winner of the Wooden, Naismith, Associated Press, NABC, USBWA and Sporting News Player of the Year accolades. McDermott ended his Creighton career, the first four years that Lutz was in Omaha, as 1-of-3 players in college basketball history with 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds while setting an NCAA record with 135 double-figure scoring games.
As Creighton’s recruiting coordinator, Lutz helped assemble the nation’s No. 8-ranked non-BCS recruiting class in the fall of 2010. This year’s class is currently ranked No. 24 by Rivals.com and 35th nationally by ESPN.com.
Prior to his time at Creighton, Lutz spent the previous four seasons (2006 to 2010) as an assistant coach at SMU. During his time in Dallas, Lutz served as the recruiting coordinator for the Mustangs. His first two recruiting classes were ranked in the top-35 nationally by Hoop Scoop Online. Those recruiting classes included Conference USA All-Freshman honorees Paul McCoy (2008-09) and Papa Dia (2007-08). In his fourth season, SMU finished with its most wins, highest league finish and highest conference tournament seed since joining Conference USA before the 2005-06 season.
Lutz has 22 previous seasons of experience as a college assistant. He also spent four seasons at Incarnate Word in his hometown of San Antonio, followed by a season at Garden City (Kansas) Community College and six years at Stephen F. Austin.
His teams have totaled a 386-239 record for a .618 winning percentage.
At Stephen F. Austin, Lutz served as the Lumberjacks’ recruiting coordinator and assisted in all phases of game preparation under coach Danny Kaspar. Two of his recruiting classes were ranked tops in the Southland Conference. In six seasons at Stephen F. Austin, the Lumberjacks went 93-76, including a 71-44 mark his final four years.
Lutz also spent four seasons as an assistant to Kaspar at Incarnate Word in San Antonio. During those four seasons, the Crusaders went 99-20, winning three regular-season Heart of Texas Conference titles and capturing the conference postseason tournament in each of his final three seasons. He also spent one season at Incarnate Word as the head golf coach.
While at Incarnate Word, the Cardinal improved their final NAIA regular-season national ranking each year, finishing 23rd, 10th, ninth and first, respectively. He also spent the 1999-2000 season as an assistant to Jeremy Cox at Garden City Community College where his team went 24-9 and finished third in the Jayhawk Western Conference.
Lutz played basketball for three seasons at Texas Lutheran and served as the team captain as a senior. He earned his undergraduate degree from Texas Lutheran in 1995 and his M.Ed., at Incarnate Word in 1997. Lutz played one season at Ranger Junior College prior to his arrival at Texas Lutheran.
Lutz and his wife, Shannon, have two daughters, Caroline (14) and McKenna (11), and one son, Jackson (4).