Utah basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak catches bike thief
Phones, too • Former NBA player jokes about Barney Fife.
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Larry Krystkowiak isn't just the head men's basketball coach at Utah. Apparently, he has a future in law enforcement, if he ever so chooses.

Krystkowiak­ — who at 6-foot-9 used to be a hard-nosed power forward in the NBA — chased down an apparent bike thief on Saturday morning outside the Huntsman Center.

Upon approaching the man, he forced him to sit on the sidewalk and called campus police, who discovered five stolen phones in his bag upon arrival.

"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."

The incident began at 7:30 a.m. when Krystkowiak was walking to the basketball offices to prepare for basketball practice — the Utes officially started on Friday afternoon in preparation of the new season, now five weeks away.

According to Krystkowiak, the man was riding a bike while holding another bike, which seemed odd. That's when he decided to approach the man.

"He started telling me all kinds of stories," Krystkowiak said. "I guess it was a good way to start the day."

On twitter, Krystkowiak referred to himself as Barney Fife, after the deputy sheriff character in the classic television show Andy Griffith.

In his day job, Krystkowiak is leading Utah into its third season with him at the helm. The Utes finished last year with a 15-18 record while winning four of their last five games, including two in the Pac-12 Tournament. He is looking for his first winning season with Utah.

tjones@sltrib.com

on twitter: @tjonessltrib