The University of Evansville has announced the hiring of former National Coach of the Year Todd Lickliter as head coach of the Purple Aces men’s basketball team. Lickliter inked a multiyear deal with the university and will assume the position immediately. He will be on the sideline when the Aces face Drake on Wednesday evening.
“My family and I are excited to have the opportunity to rejoin the Evansville community,” Lickliter said. “I am humbled by the chance to lead the Purple Aces program and thankful to reunite with this outstanding group of student-athletes. It is a privilege to be a part of a program with a rich history and tradition.”
Lickliter is familiar with the Evansville program and players after spending the 2018-19 season as an assistant coach. He took an active role in coaching a young Aces squad last season. Facing a great deal of turnover while assisting the staff in the implementation of a new system, Lickliter helped guide Evansville to the best record for a first-year staff since 1978. The Aces began Missouri Valley Conference play with a double overtime win against Drake before earning their most decisive win of the season when they defeated defending Final Four participant Loyola by a 67-48 final at the Ford Center.
As the head coach at Butler University from 2001 through 2007, Lickliter brought record-breaking success to the Bulldog program. In his first season at the helm, he directed the team to a then-school record of 26 victories and its third Horizon League regular season championship in a row. His squad also reached the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in 53 years. Lickliter’s success only got better as he led Butler to a pair of Sweet 16 appearance in 2003 and 2007. In 2007, his team fell to eventual National Champion Florida by just eight points.
Over his first two seasons at the helm of the Bulldog squad, Lickliter won a total of 53 games. It marked the third-most wins in NCAA history by a men’s head coach in the first two years of work, trailing only Bill Guthridge (58 wins) of North Carolina and NC State’s Everett Case, who posted 55 wins.
His top honor came in 2007 as he was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) National Coach of the Year. CollegeHoops.net named him as the High-Major Coach of the Year that same season. He left the program with the top three single-season win totals in school history. Lickliter became the head coach at the University of Iowa in 2007 and led the program at Marian University in 2012. In his second season with the Knights, he led them to the most conference wins in school history along with the #1 scoring defense in NAIA Division II. After leaving Marian, he joined the Boston Celtics as a scout.
Prior to assuming the head coaching position at Butler, Lickliter worked two stints as an assistant at Butler while serving as an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan from 1997-99. In his initial period at Butler, Lickliter worked with his college coach – Joe Sexson for the 1988-89 campaign and returned to the program from 1999 through 2001, working with Barry Collier and Thad Matta. At EMU, he assisted on the 1998 team that won the Mid-American Conference Championship behind future NBA star Earl Boykins.
The 1979 graduate of Butler University is a native of Indianapolis, where he played for his father Arlan at North Central High School. He played one season at Central Florida before transferring to Butler. Todd and wife Joez have three sons – Ry, Garrett and John.
“I would like to thank President Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz, Mark Spencer and the administration at the University of Evansville for the opportunity to coach these young men. We will strive to uphold the Aces rich tradition and bring pride to the UE community,” Lickliter added.