Loyola Chicago's Porter Moser hired as Oklahoma men's basketball coach

Moser: Sister Jean and I will be friends for life (2:30)

New Oklahoma head coach Porter Moser talks why he decided to take the job and how much he will miss the people at Loyola Chicago. (2:30)

Loyola Chicago's Porter Moser has been hired as Oklahoma men's basketball coach, OU athletic director Joe Castiglione announced Saturday.

Moser has been one of the hottest mid-major coaches in the country since leading Loyola Chicago to the Final Four in 2018. Since then, he has led the Ramblers to at least a share of two Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championships. They went 26-5 this season, beating Georgia Tech and 1-seed Illinois en route to a Sweet 16 appearance.

"I've always said there are reasons why you win. If you look at the standards that the programs at Oklahoma have set, there are reasons why they've won," Moser said in a statement. "The coaches, infrastructure and community are all championship caliber. You just want to be a part of that. To play in a premiere league like the Big 12 and be a part of this championship culture excites me."

A Naperville, Illinois, native, Moser hasn't jumped at high-major coaching opportunities over the past couple of seasons. St. John's pursued him after Chris Mullin stepped down, but Moser returned to Loyola. He was linked to various openings this spring but appeared likely to head back to the Ramblers until Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger retired late last month.

Castiglione quickly zeroed in on Moser, and he had been the clear leader for the job the past couple of days.

"We are absolutely thrilled to announce and welcome Porter Moser as our next great OU head coach," Castiglione said in a statement. "As we dug deep into the backgrounds of candidates, his attributes, acumen and record of success totally aligned with what we were seeking."

Oklahoma will introduce Moser at a news conference next week.

Moser began his coaching career in 1990 as an assistant coach at Creighton, his alma mater. He also spent time as an assistant coach at Texas A&M, Milwaukee, Arkansas-Little Rock and Saint Louis. Moser was also a head coach at Arkansas-Little Rock and Illinois State.

"It is impossible to properly thank Porter for all he's done for our basketball program and University," Loyola Chicago athletic director Steve Watson said in a statement. "His vision and leadership brought Loyola to new heights and Ramblers everywhere will be eternally grateful. A huge thank you and best wishes, from all Ramblers, are rightfully being extended to Porter and his family as they embark on their next journey."

Kruger retired after 45 years in coaching. He had been at Oklahoma for the past decade, leading the Sooners to seven NCAA tournaments and a Final Four appearance in 2016.