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College teammates Larry Krystkowiak, Wayne Tinkle on opposite sidelines

Dhon Santos/Pac-12.com

SAN FRANCISCO – Larry Krystkowiak and Wayne Tinkle go back; waaaaayyyyy back. The two were college teammates at Montana in the 1980s, and later coached together at Montana – Krystkowiak as head coach, Tinkle his assistant. When Larry K left Montana for the NBA, Tinkle inherited the Grizzly throne.

Now, after eight successful years at the helm in Missoula that included three NCAA tournament appearances, Tinkle joins Krystkowiak in the Pac-12. Only this time, they’re on different benches, with Krystkowiak manning the Utes and Tinkle taking over the Beavs.

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“I’m really proud of Larry for what he’s done, but most importantly how he has achieved those things,” Tinkle said Thursday at 2014-15 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day. “Not looking forward to coaching against him, but glad that we’ll be in the same conference and competing against each other a little bit here moving forward.”

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While the two are friends now, their relationship didn’t get off to the most amicable of starts.

“I can’t say I was probably his favorite guy as a freshman,” said Krystkowiak, who is about 16 months older than Tinkle. “I think there’s certain things when you arrive at college you should probably have to pay your dues for. I never made it easy on Wayne.”

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The two are happy for the other’s success, but don’t expect them to pull any punches when the Beavers and Utes meet in Corvallis Feb. 19.

“[Krystkowiak] said, ‘Coach, hold your breath and get through the first six months. That’s the toughest. But everything’s going to be alright,’” Tinkle said, in reference to the Utah coach reaching out to him when he got the Oregon State gig. “He said, ‘Beyond that, don’t expect much more advice from me.’”

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