University of South Dakota alum Todd Lee, who has garnered a national title and multiple championships throughout a prestigious coaching career, is returning to Vermillion to lead the Coyotes’ men’s basketball program athletic director David Herbster announced Wednesday.
Lee will be formally introduced at a press conference at 1 p.m. Friday in the DakotaDome Club on the USD campus. Herbster and Lee will not be available for comment until that time.
A native of Huron, South Dakota, Lee graduated from South Dakota in 1986 with a degree in business administration. He received his master’s degree in education from Azusa Pacific in 2003.
“Todd checks all of the boxes and has been a winner everywhere he has been,” said Herbster. “His successes range from the CBA in Rapid City, South Dakota, to a national championship at CSU Bakersfield to what he and coach Majerle have achieved at Grand Canyon. It is also eight successful years as a head coach that set Todd apart from everyone else.”
Lee spent the past five seasons as the associate head coach at Grand Canyon University, helping the Lopes to a 103-58 record. The team’s 81 wins during its four-year transition to Division I are the most by any program that has made the leap. This past season, GCU totaled 22 wins and advanced to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championship game. The Lopes finished in the top three of the WAC in all five seasons with Lee and made four consecutive postseason appearances.
Prior to his time at Grand Canyon, Lee compiled a 154-81 record and competed in five NCAA tournaments as the head coach at Kentucky Wesleyan. Highlighting his run were 14-0 starts in consecutive seasons, a No. 1 ranking, and a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2012. During Lee’s final six seasons, the Panthers averaged 22 wins and had a .736 win percentage (134-48).
Lee coached five first-team all-GLVC selections and 14 all-conference performers including Jeff Fahnbulleh, the 2007-08 GLVC Player of the Year. Lee was named the GLVC Coach of the Year in 2008 and the NABC Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 2010.
Lee also has coaching stops at UC-Irvine (1997-05), CSU Bakersfield (1994-97), San Diego (1989-92) and Southwest Junior College (1986-89). He also spent two years as an assistant coach with the former Rapid City Thrillers of the Continental Basketball Association (1992-1994).
Highlights include winning the 1997 NCAA Division II National Championship with Bakersfield, serving under former NBA head coach and current Nevada head coach Eric Musselman with the Rapid City Thrillers, and winning two Big West Conference Championships with UC Irvine. While at Irvine, he helped the program produce three consecutive 20-wins seasons for the first time in program history.
Lee and his wife, Kim, have three sons, Carson, Jackson and Peyton.