Valpo Basketball Staff Update

Valparaiso University men’s basketball head coach Roger Powell Jr. has announced the first three members of his coaching staff as Pat Baldwin and Matt Gordon will serve as assistant coaches, while Kylen Butler joins the staff as special assistant to the head coach.

Baldwin brings head coaching experience to the Valpo bench as he spent five seasons as the head coach at Milwaukee before serving as an assistant coach under Patrick Ewing at Georgetown this past season. He has also worked under Chris Collins as an assistant coach during a successful run at Northwestern, so he has recent stops in the Big Ten and Big East to go along with his head coaching experience.

“I am very humbled and excited to lock arms with Coach Powell here at Valpo,” Baldwin said. “His enthusiasm and passion for this program are very clear. Valpo has a great tradition of winning. I’m looking forward to winning with a great person like Coach Powell. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

Prior to Milwaukee, Baldwin spent four seasons as a key member of Collins’ Northwestern staff. The Wildcats increased their win total in each of his four years there. In his final season on staff at his alma mater, Northwestern shattered a program record with 24 wins and achieved the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history. During his time on the Northwestern staff, he helped the team land a recruiting class that ranked in the top 30 nationally.

“It was very important for me to have a former head coach on my staff,” Powell said. “In addition to head-coaching experience, Coach Baldwin brings a high level of playing experience from his time at Northwestern. He also has coaching experience in the NCAA Tournament as he was on staff for Northwestern’s first NCAA Tournament appearance. All of those attributes that he brings to the table will be extremely valuable to me as I attack my first head coaching job.”

Before making his way to Northwestern in 2013, Baldwin had coaching stops at Lincoln University in Missouri (2001-2002), Green Bay (2002-2004), Loyola Chicago (2004-2011) and Missouri State (2011-2013). The 1994 Northwestern graduate was a three-year captain and etched his name in the program record book in numerous locations. He owns all three program records for steals – single game (nine), single season (90) and career (272). He ranks third in program history in assists (452) and fourth in single-season free-throw percentage (.880). He scored 1,189 career points and was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.

During his time at Milwaukee, Baldwin’s Panthers were among the NCAA leaders in free-throw percentage and nearly set a program record in 2018-19 at .746. His teams reached the Horizon League semifinals on three occasions and he helped the program climb four spots in the league standings from the previous year in his first season at the helm.

The Leavenworth, Kan. native played professionally in Bosnia and Croatia before joining the coaching ranks. Baldwin and his wife Shawn, a former Northwestern volleyball player, have four children – Patrick Jr., Tatum, Brooke and Claire. Patrick Jr. plays in the NBA for the Golden State Warriors.

Gordon comes to Northwest Indiana after a stint in the Big 12 Conference as he spent the last two years at Oklahoma as Director of Recruiting and Special Assistant to head coach Porter Moser. He joined Moser in Norman, Okla. after they previously worked together for a decade at Loyola Chicago. Gordon was an assistant coach for his last seven seasons with the Ramblers after spending the first three as Director of Basketball Operations.

Gordon knows what it takes to win in the Missouri Valley Conference from his time at Loyola, as he played a key role in a turnaround that saw the Ramblers post a 156-80 (.661) record during his seven seasons as an assistant coach. The team won 18 or more games in each of his last five years on staff and had a 56-16 (.778) conference record over the last four seasons. Loyola picked up a dozen wins over power conference opponents during Gordon’s time in Rogers Park.

“I got to know Coach Powell and I think he’s an unbelievable leader, an unbelievable motivator and an unbelieve winner,” Gordon said. “You want to surround yourself with people who have won. I’ve experienced winning in this league at Loyola. I’ve seen the type of players with the character and talent that it takes to win in this league. I’m really excited to join Coach Powell’s staff. I love his vision for where this is headed. Valparaiso represents a lot of the values and beliefs of how I was raised. It’s an unbelievable university with great proximity to great recruiting bases, and I think this place has a chance to be at the top of The Valley and right back into the national spotlight very soon.”

Gordon was part of a historic run of dominance during his time on Chicago’s north side, playing an instrumental role in the team’s two Sweet Sixteen appearances in a four-year period including the program’s first Final Four berth in over 45 years in 2017-18, a season that featured a school-record 32 wins. The Ramblers won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship in three of his final four seasons on staff and finished as the runner-up in the remaining season. While with the Ramblers, Gordon coached three Missouri Valley Conference Players of the Year.  

“I’m thrilled to bring Coach Gordon back to the Missouri Valley Conference,” Powell said. “His experience and proven track record of winning in our league is going to be a tremendous asset as we build the Valpo program back to the level of success that I want to achieve and beyond.”

Before arriving at Loyola, Gordon worked under Rick Majerus at Saint Louis as Director of Basketball Operations from 2008-2011. He gained experience in the NBA as a basketball operations intern with the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2007-2008 season, when he assisted the Grizzlies’ coaching staff with multiple projects in the video department.

A 2006 Illinois State graduate, Gordon began his basketball career with three seasons as the head student manager for the Redbirds when Moser was the head coach in Bloomington-Normal. He also served as ISU’s video coordinator. Gordon is married to his wife, Kate.

Butler spent the last two seasons as the Director of Recruiting for head coach Bryce Drew’s staff at Grand Canyon University. While in Phoenix, he assisted with all aspects of the program’s recruiting efforts.

“My previous relationship with Coach Powell was a big factor in my decision to come to Valpo,” Butler said. “The opportunity to be a part of restoring this program’s proud tradition is exciting. I enjoyed getting to hear President Padilla, Dr. Small and Coach Powell explain their vision for our program and this University. It was a lot of alignment and a lot of prayer that led me to realize this was the right move for my career.”

Butler was part of a Lopes team that won the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament this season. He was on the GCU bench as the Lopes played Powell and Gonzaga in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Butler played collegiately at Wallace State Community College, Tusculum University and the University of Indianapolis before beginning his coaching career. He was a graduate assistant at UIndy for the 2018-2019 season and later served as a graduate manager at Clemson and Director of Basketball Operations at Cal State Fullerton before joining GCU.

“I’ve been mentoring Kylen for years,” Powell said. “I value the relationships he forms with players, and he’s coming from GCU, where he was part of a staff that has had success. He’s young and hungry. He’s a worker; he’s going to be a huge asset to developing this program. I see a lot of myself when I was first starting out in Kylen.”

Additional members of the coaching staff will be announced soon.

What They’re Saying About Coach Baldwin

ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D.: “Pat is an incredible person who continues to make a significant difference in lives of so many student-athletes. He’s a terrific coach whose meaningful dedication extends far beyond the basketball court. Congratulations to Pat and his beautiful family on this opportunity.”

Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Famer and Former Georgetown Head Coach: “I enjoyed working with Pat Baldwin. He brought knowledge of the game and a great work ethic to my staff.”

Chris Collins, Northwestern Head Coach: “Pat Baldwin is a home run hire for Valpo basketball. He has a tremendous basketball IQ, does a great job developing players and is a tireless recruiter. Pat played an integral role in helping us recruit and develop our first-ever NCAA Tournament team in Northwestern basketball history. Most importantly, Pat is a high-character family man who will represent Valpo in a first-class manner in everything that he does.”

Jim Whitesell, Former Buffalo and Loyola Chicago Head Coach: “Pat is an incredible addition to Coach Powell’s staff. This is a home run. Pat brings a wealth of experience. He is well versed in every area that there is. Having had the opportunity to work with Pat, I have seen his work ethic, strong values and commitment to the student-athletes.”

What They’re Saying About Coach Gordon

Porter Moser, Oklahoma Head Coach: “Matt worked with me from the beginning building the culture at Loyola and here at Oklahoma. He’s a tireless worker in every aspect of the job. Everything from coaching on the floor to recruiting to skill development, he will bring it every day! Being from Chicago and having won in the MVC, Matt has such first-hand knowledge to help Valparaiso get back to the championship level. Absolutely great hire by Roger!”

Drew Valentine, Loyola Head Coach: “Flash is a basketball lifer. He is incredibly meticulous with his everyday approach and his attention to detail is as complete as I’ve ever seen. But it’s his loyalty and values as a person that make him who he is. He is incredibly high character and is wired to win. I loved working alongside him as assistants at Loyola, and he knows exactly what it takes to win championships in the MVC.”

Emanuel Dildy, Oklahoma Assistant Coach: “Matt is one of the hardest-working people who I have ever encountered. He has a tremendous dedication to developing student-athletes both on and off the court. Matt’s tireless drive to build relationships with student-athletes and in the community is an asset to any university.”

David Patrick, Sacramento State Head Coach: “Coach Powell has hired a fantastic human being and basketball mind who encompasses and understands winning. Flash is a tremendous teacher on the basketball floor and has been a major contributor to winning at the highest level. I couldn’t be happier for Matt and his family to be back closer to home at a tradition-filled university like Valparaiso.”

Daniyal Robinson, Cleveland State Head Coach: “Coach Powell knocked it out the park with this hire. Coach Matt Gordon is extremely detail-oriented and is great teacher of the game. He comes in every day highly prepared and has a long history of establishing genuine relationships with players. Coach Gordon joins Valparaiso with a sustained track record of transforming programs in the Missouri Valley, most notably playing an instrumental role in Loyola Chicago’s historic run to the Final Four in 2018. Coach has continuously impacted winning and played a key role in the individual success of so many student-athletes. Through his loyalty and tireless effort, Coach Gordon will continue to be an integral part of success in joining Coach Powell’s staff.” 

What They’re Saying About Kylen Butler

Donte Ingram, Professional Basketball Player in the Netherlands, Member of Loyola Final Four Team: “Coach Powell and Valpo just gained one of the most relentless, hardest-working individuals I know, not only in the basketball world, but in life. His pursuit of greatness in this coaching field is something special to witness. This guy has such a great soul and I’m certain his energy within the program will be contagious from Day 1. I’m super excited for what’s in store.”

Stan Gouard, Southern Indiana Head Coach: “I’ve known Kylen since he was in high school, and I’ve always admired him as a young man, and his passion for cultivating relationships. I was fortunate enough to coach him for the last two years of his collegiate playing career before hiring him as my Graduate Assistant. He hit the ground running and was a superstar in his role; he was excellent in every aspect. He’s an elite recruiter, and our student-athletes loved him. Kylen was unbelievable with scouting reports, in recruiting and in practice. He had a great amount of confidence in himself, and his ability to connect with people is second to none. He’s a great coach, and even a better person. Kylen is a young and coming star in this business; he’s exactly what our game needs. I’m so proud of him, and am excited about his future.”

Tagged with: