INDIANAPOLIS — LaVall Jordan is getting another chance to make his imprint at Butler.
The Bulldogs’ former star player who started his coaching career at his alma mater agreed Monday to become Butler’s new head coach according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person requested anonymity because the deal had not yet been completed.
An announcement could come as early as Tuesday.
The 38-year-old Jordan replaces Chris Holtmann, who left for Ohio State last week.
Jordan went 11-24 at Milwaukee last season, his first as a head coach. But he led the Panthers to a surprising appearance in the Horizon League Tournament championship, where they had a chance to become the team with the most losses to ever make the NCAA Tournament field.
Now the Michigan native steps into a program that has moved from one of America’s darlings to one of college basketball’s most consistent postseason teams.
Since 2007, the Bulldogs have made the NCAA field eight times, reached the Sweet 16 four times and finished as the national runner-up in 2010 and 2011. And they’ve continued to win despite having four coaches since 2013.
Jordan nearly got his dream job that year when Brad Stevens left to take the Boston Celtics job.
Instead, athletic director Barry Collier chose to stay in-house by hiring former Butler star Brandon Miller. He left after one season for personal reasons.
Holtmann stepped in as interim coach just before the start of 2014-15 and later had the interim tag dropped as he led the Bulldogs back to the first of three straight NCAA appearances in his first season as coach.
Jordan is the first head coach to be hired from outside Butler’s program since Collier, then a Stanford assistant, returned to the suburban Indianapolis campus in 1989.
But, like Collier, Jordan has long ties to the university.
In 2001, after being selected as the MVP of the Midwestern College Conference Tourney, he helped lead Butler to its first NCAA Tourney win in nearly 40 years.
Jordan returned as director of basketball operations - a proving ground for a series of future Butler head coaches - in 2003-04.
He was promoted to assistant coach the next season and stayed in that post until leaving with Todd Lickliter for Iowa in 2007. He left Iowa following 2009-10 and landed a spot on John Beilein’s staff at Michigan, where he stayed until taking the Milwaukee job last spring.
Collier also reportedly interviewed two of Holtmann’s assistants, Terry Johnson and Ryan Pedon. Celtics assistant Micah Shrewsbury, who worked on Stevens’ staff at Butler, also was reportedly under consideration.
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