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Butler Bulldogs Expected to Hire LaVall Jordan As Head Coach

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs have reportedly tabbed LaVall Jordan as the next men’s basketball head coach. Terms of the deal have yet to be released. Jordan, 38, is currently the head coach of the Milwaukee Panthers of the Horizon League. He is a former Butler assistant coach and played for Butler teams coached by current Butler Vice President/Director of Athletics Barry Collier.

After the departure of Chris Holtmann last Friday, rumors of LaVall Jordan on the short list quickly caught fire. The Butler community wasted no time fueling the flame. Jordan was a fan favorite back in 2013 when he interviewed for the job that ultimately went to Brandon Miller. Jordan is the fourth Butler coach in six seasons.

Jordan, a native of Albion, MI, arrived at Milwaukee in April 2016, signing a five-year contract worth $350,000 a year. In his first season, Jordan was 11-24 at Milwaukee, including a nine-game losing streak to end the regular season before guiding the 10th-seeded Panthers all the way to the Horizon League Tournament Championship Game. They won three games before losing to Northern Kentucky, 59-53.

Photo: LaVall Jordan (SI.com)

Besides serving as an assistant coach at Butler, Jordan spent three years (2007-2010) at Iowa under Todd Lickliter and six years (2011-2016) under John Beilein at Michigan. During his time at Ann Arbor, Jordan helped the Wolverines to five NCAA Tournament bids (2011, ’12, ’13, ’14 & ’16), with a trip to the 2013 Final Four and National Championship, the first for the program in 20 years. Michigan made a return trip to the Elite Eight in 2014.

Specializing as a “guard whisperer,” Jordan coached eight Wolverine guards to All-Big Ten honors including Darius Morris (2011), Trey Burke (2012 & ’13), Tim Hardaway Jr. (2012 & ’13), Nik Stauskas (2014), Caris LeVert (2014), Derrick Walton Jr. (2016) and Zak Irvin (2016). He mentored Burke to 2013 consensus National Player of the Year and All-America honors, as he set Michigan records for assists in a single season as well as the freshman and sophomore records for assists.

In addition, during his stint with Michigan, seven Wolverines reached the NBA: Morris (2011, No. 41 by Los Angeles Lakers), Burke (2013, No. 9 by Utah Jazz), Hardaway (2013, No. 24 by New York Knicks), Stauskas (2014, No. 8 by Sacramento Kings), Mitch McGary (2014, No. 21 by Oklahoma City Thunder) and Glenn Robinson III (2014, No. 40 by Minnesota Timberwolves). Caris LeVert (2016, No. 20 by Indiana Pacers) reached the NBA shortly after Jordan left for Milwaukee.

Prior to his arrival at Iowa and Michigan, Jordan spent four years coaching at Butler (2003-07). He worked as an assistant coach for three seasons (2004-07) and as the coordinator of basketball operations for one season (2003-04).

Before embarking on his coaching career, Jordan was a starting guard at Butler (1998-2001). He helped the Bulldogs win three conference tournament titles and two Midwestern Collegiate Conference regular-season championships. He participated in four consecutive postseason tournaments, NCAA (1998, 2000, ’01) and NIT (1999), and helped record Butler’s first NCAA tournament win in 39 years with a 79-63 win over Wake Forest in 2001. He was a two-time All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference performer and was the league’s tournament MVP in 2001.

Jordan earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Butler in 2001 and went on to play professional basketball in Europe. He was the first Butler player to participate in the National Basketball Developmental League, playing for the Huntsville Flight.

He is first head coach hired by Butler who was not already on the staff since Collier himself in 1989.  Previously promoted: Thad Matta (succeeding Collier), Todd Lickliter, Brad Stevens, Brandon Miller and Chris Holtmann..

Collier also interviewed Butler assistants Terry Johnson, 43, who was named assistant coach in 2007 and has been part of the staff for 12 years, and Ryan Pedon, 39, a native of Bexley, Ohio and Holtmann’s top recruiter. Micah Shrewsberry, 40, an assistant coach to Brad Stevens for Butler and the Boston Celtics, has dropped out of the running, according to a source.

Butler’s other full-time assistant, Mike Schrage, is joining the staff at Ohio State. Johnson and Pedon could also join Holtmann unless Jordan attempts to keep both men on board.

Jordan’s background coaching guards could keep recruits and current members of the team happy and committed to Butler. The big question mark is with 2017 Jackson High School forward Kyle Young, who was heavily recruited by Pedon.

Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.

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