The University of Tulsa introduced Eric Konkol as the school’s 31st head basketball coach March 22 at an evening welcome party and news conference at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
Konkol, 45, comes to Tulsa following seven seasons at Louisiana Tech, where he compiled a 153-75 record. He won 46 games in his first two seasons, the most for any previous Louisiana Tech head coach, and his 153 career victories is the third-highest win total in school history. Konkol’s teams produced six seasons with 20-plus wins and finished among the top three in Conference USA standings five of his seven years.
Konkol returns to where he began his start in collegiate coaching. He was a student assistant coach for Tulsa’s 2001 NIT Championship team under Head Coach Buzz Peterson.
“I’m thrilled and honored to return to Tulsa as head men’s basketball coach,” said Konkol. “This program is rich in tradition with a history built on tough players and passionate fans from our city. Our staff will work relentlessly to recruit and develop both to compete for championships and have one of the most electric home court environments in the country.
“My staff and I can’t wait to connect with our TU students and fans, our former players, the greater Tulsa community, and the basketball coaches in this area. It’s going to take all of us to maximize our potential and I look forward to leading that mission.”
“The University of Tulsa has a long, proud history of great basketball programs. Going back decades, our student-athletes have been successful on the court and in the classroom. Eric Konkol has a record of recruiting, coaching and mentoring young men to be the best they can be and to lift their teams to new heights. I have no doubt he will bring that same level of dedication, energy and ambition to TU,” said university President Brad R. Carson.
After his one-year stint at Tulsa, Konkol was on the coaching staffs at Tennessee, George Mason and Miami (Fla.) before becoming the Louisiana Tech head coach in 2015. Konkol has served 20 years as a collegiate coach and has been a part of 14 20-win seasons with 10 postseason tournament appearances.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Eric and his family to Tulsa,” said Rick Dickson, Tulsa’s vice president and director of athletics. “It was obvious from our first conversation that Eric was a perfect fit for TU, and it became increasingly clear that he was the right person to collaborate with us and lead the TU basketball program through a crucial rebuilding phase.
“Eric not only exhibits incredible understanding and knowledge of the game but has shown a keen ability to communicate effectively and bring out the best in his players. Our campus and our community will appreciate his enthusiasm, and I look forward to welcoming fans – new and old – to Reynolds this fall.”
Louisiana Tech completed the 2021-22 season with an overall 24-10 record and a 12-6 league mark. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 75.2 scoring average.
In the 2020-21 campaign, Konkol guided Louisiana Tech to a 24-8 overall record, a Conference USA West Division title and a third-place finish in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) by defeating Ole Miss, Western Kentucky and No. 1 overall seed Colorado State in the NIT Final Four consolation game. As a result, Konkol garnered numerous awards including Conference USA Coach of the Year, NABC District 11 Coach of the Year, LABC Louisiana Major College Coach of the Year and LSWA Louisiana Coach of the Year. He was also a finalist for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award.
Despite the shortened 2019-20 season due to the public health threat of COVID-19, Konkol was named the LSWA Louisiana Coach of the Year and the LABC Louisiana Major College Coach of the Year after guiding LA Tech to a 22-8 overall record.
At Louisiana Tech, Konkol’s teams averaged 74.2 points over his career while holding the opposition to 67.9 points in 228 contests.
At Miami, Konkol was a part of three 20-win seasons and three postseason tournament appearances. Known as the team’s offensive coordinator, he aided the 2014-15 Hurricanes to a 25-13 record, the second most wins in program history, and an appearance in the NIT Championship game.
Kokol helped guide George Mason to four postseason appearances, including NCAA berths in 2008 and 2011. In 2011, the team defeated Villanova to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, earned a regular season Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title and posted a school record-tying 27 wins.
Konkol spent his first two years, including one red-shirt season, at Wisconsin at Platteville playing for former Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan.
While working at Tennessee as a graduate assistant coach on Buzz Peterson’s staff for the 2001-02 season he earned his master’s degree in sport management.
Konkol and his wife, Meagan, have two sons, Ethan and Ryan.