To the surprise of virtually no one, it appears as if the Butler Bulldogs basketball program, fresh off of the departure of Brad Stevens, will be looking in the Butler “family” for their next head coach. Butler reportedly interviewed current assistant coach Brandon Miller for the job, and now, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting that former Butler player and current Michigan assistant coach Lavall Jordan has emerged as the “front-runner” for the job.
Jordan was previously an assistant at Butler (under Todd Lickiter) from 2003-2007, but the 34-year-old has been with John Beilein at Michigan for the past 3 seasons. Obviously, Jordan’s name has risen in basketball circles after Michigan’s run to the national title game, but his connection to Butler is his “ace in the hole” for this particular opening.
The Butler program has absolutely exploded in terms of national prominence under Stevens, but there has been widespread thought in the industry that they would go “in house” for their next hire, and these two names fit the bill. Brad Stevens will be leaving an unimaginable void for the program, but it isn’t unprecedented for a mid-major program to succeed under multiple coaches (remember Tulsa under Tubby Smith and Bill Self?).
The cupboard is far from bare at Butler and, if they were to go with Jordan, their guard play would be in great hands, as evidenced by his work with 1st-round picks Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. during their careers. It would be a surprise if Jordan didn’t claim the job, but wherever Butler turns, don’t sleep on that now-stellar program.