LaVall Jordan, who helped Butler to conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances as both a player and an assistant coach, returns to his alma mater as the 24th head coach in men’s basketball program history. Butler Vice President and Director of Athletics Barry Collier announced.
“LaVall is a tremendous coach who exemplifies The Butler Way,” said Collier, who as the team’s head coach first recruited Jordan to Butler in 1997. “He has played a major role in successful programs that have competed at the highest levels. LaVall also has a deep appreciation for our university and this program, and will recruit and develop young men who will represent Butler well. We are thrilled to welcome LaVall, Destinee, and their three beautiful daughters back to Butler.”
Jordan’s coaching career began on the Butler sidelines (2003-07), working as an assistant coach for three seasons (2004-07) and as the coordinator of basketball operations for one season (2003-04).
Jordan helped guide the Bulldogs to a 29-7 record in 2006-07, sharing the Horizon League regular season title in 2007. Butler advanced to the Sweet 16 in the 2007 NCAA Tournament before a loss to eventual national champion, Florida.
Before embarking on his coaching career, Jordan was a starting guard at Butler (1998-2001), helping 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, 2001) 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.
Jordan was a two-time All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference performer and was the league’s tournament MVP in 2001. He tallied 91 victories in four years, which (at the time) made him the winningest player in Butler history.
“This is a dream come true,” said Jordan. “Butler is a place that means so much to me and my family, and I am honored and humbled to lead this storied program. I want to thank President Danko and Barry Collier for the faith they have placed in me to continue The Butler Way and our great success.”
Jordan returns to the Butler campus after serving one season as the head coach at Milwaukee. In his first head coaching position, Jordan led the Panthers to the Horizon League Tournament championship game. Milwaukee entered the postseason as the tournament’s No. 10 seed before making a miraculous run through the bracket. Jordan, who inherited only four returning scholarship players when he took over the Panthers’ program in April of 2016, finished 11-24 on the season.
Jordan spent the previous six seasons as an assistant coach with the University of Michigan basketball program under head coach John Beilein. He helped the Michigan program to five NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the 2013 Final Four and national title game — the first for the program in 20 years, followed by a return trip to the Elite Eight in 2014.
With Jordan, U-M averaged 24 wins per season, including a U-M record-tying 31 during the 2012-13 season. Michigan claimed a share of the 2012 Big Ten regular-season title with a 13-5 record — the first for the program since 1986. The Wolverines won their first outright Big Ten title in 28 years in 2014 with a 15-3 record, winning the league by three games. Specializing in guard development, Jordan coached eight Wolverine guards to All-Big Ten honors. In addition, during his stint with U-M, six Wolverines reached the NBA.
Before joining the Wolverine program, Jordan spent three years at Iowa (2007-10) under Todd Lickliter. Jordan also coached under Lickliter at Butler after playing for Collier and Thad Matta.
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.
Jordan and his wife, Destinee, have three daughters, Ava, Alanna and Adalynn.