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Jordan returning to Hinkle as head coach

LaVall Jordan will be the next former returns home after 10 seasons away as the next head coach at Butler (Photo Credit: IconSMI)


It's been 10 years since LaVall Jordan appeared at Hinkle Fieldhouse on a regular basis.

That wait is over. According to various reports, Jordan is the choice of Butler athletic director Barry Collier to replace Chris Holtmann as the next head coach of the Bulldogs.

Jordan was a popular candidate to replace Brad Stevens in the summer of 2013, when the job went to his former teammate Brandon Miller.

Now four years later, the job has changed hands twice since then. After Miller's quick flameout as the man in charge of the Butler program, the aforementioned Holtmann filled the void and led the Bulldogs back to the Sweet 16 this past season and quickly into the upper echelon of the Big East.

It's a level of the game that Jordan has experienced while at a different program. 

When Jordan was a potential candidate for the job four years ago, he was mentioned not just for his ties to his alma mater, but also his role on a staff that had just played in the national championship game three months earlier during his time at Michigan. Jordan would stay at Michigan for three more seasons, leaving at the end of the 2015-16 season to grab his first head coaching position, at former league rival Milwaukee.

It was a rebuilding job to be certain at Milwaukee, with the Panthers going just 11-24 on the season, finishing in last place in the Horizon League. However, three of those 11 wins came in the Horizon League tournament, making it all the way to the championship game before falling to Northern Kentucky.

Jordan spent three years as a Butler assistant to Todd Lickliter before following Lickliter to Iowa. Jordan then made the move to Michigan to join John Beilein's staff in Ann Arbor.

During Jordan's playing days, the Bulldogs made the NCAA Tournament in three of his four seasons in uniform. In his senior season, the Bulldogs advanced past the first round of the tourney for the first time in 39 years. 

He also got an understanding of the changing landscape of Bulldog basketball. During his first three years on campus, Jordan's head coach was the man who just hired him in Collier. Jordan's senior season was played in Thad Matta's lone season as Butler's head coach.

There will be plenty of questions to answer for Jordan, such as will there be any roster turnover. It's not exactly an easy time of year to transfer out as a player, with summer classes now underway on most campuses. If a player decides to leave, there aren't exactly a lot of scholarships floating around available at this time on the calendar.

And in terms of a staff, exactly what will that look like? Mike Schrage is expected to join Chris Holtmann's staff at Ohio State. Ryan Pedon and Terry Johnson were both potential candidates for this opening, will both elect to stick arorund after not getting the top spot? Johnson and Jordan worked together's on Lickliter's staff over a decade ago, with Johnson having now worked for the last four Butler head coaches.

Those details will all work themselves out in the very near future. But the question as to whom the next man up to lead the Butler Way didn't take long to be answered.

It's Lavall Jordan. Gone for 10 years, but by no means an outsider.

The next man up is a familiar face. And he'll quickly be expected to have a familiar level of success as well.

Because that's also part of the Butler Way.

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