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Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak is Salt Lake City’s newest crimefighter

Utah v Oregon - Pac-12 Semifinals

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 15: Head coach Larry Krystkowiak of the Utah Utes calls out in the first half while taking on the Oregon Ducks during the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 14, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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Larry Krystkowiak, Utah’s head coach, is an intimidating figure.

Standing 6-foot-9, Krystkowiak spent a dozen years in the NBA, earning himself a reputation for being a hard-nosed effort guy rather than an uber-talented perennial all-star. He’s not the kind of guy to back down from a confrontation. Over the weekend, “Barney Fife” did just that, helping to keep the Utah campus just that much safer:

Walking into the office early this morn I saw a guy riding a bike while wheeling a second bike.

— Larry Krystkowiak (@LKrystkowiak) September 29, 2013

Smelled a rat and chased him down and made him sit on sidewalk while campus police came. 5 stolen phones in bag too! Barney Fife!

— Larry Krystkowiak (@LKrystkowiak) September 29, 2013


Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune caught up with Krystkowiak over the weekend:
“The guy asked me if I was going to chase him if he attempted to run,” Krystkowiak said Saturday night. “I told him that if he tried to run, I was going to chase him and tackle him. Honestly, I was hoping that he’d run. I guess a good thief would’ve run before I caught up to him.”

When Krystkowiak isn’t doing his best Batman impression, he’s done a solid job getting this Utah program headed in the right direction. The Utes went from six wins in 2011-2012 to 15 wins in 2012-2013, and with some talent returning this season and an impressive recruiting class -- headlined by Brekkot Chapman and Kyle Kuzma -- committed for 2014, the future looks bright for the hoops program.

The same probably isn’t true for Salt Lake City’s bike thieves.

Follow @robdauster