From left, Barry Collier and LaVall Jordan pose at today’s press conference. Photo by Jimmy Lafakis.
ZACH HORRALL | DIGITAL EDITOR | firstname.lastname@example.org
Barry Collier, vice president and director of athletics, introduced his former player by giving him high praise before getting emotional reading his statement.
“It was important that we find a man who embodies The Butler Way…and we have found that man,” a teary eyed Collier said. “We know he is a man of high character and integrity.”
In his first words to the media, Jordan put in perspective what the job means.
“As I stand here as the head coach of the men’s basketball team, it is truly humbling,” Jordan said. “It means a lot to all of us to be here. Leading Butler basketball is absolutely a dream come true for me.”
Jordan has deep Butler ties. He played basketball for four years and he coached at Butler as an assistant for another four years. He is also one of the head coaching candidates in 2013 after Brad Stevens left.
Jordan gave Butler fans an inside look at what his coaching style might be, and says coaching is about more than just basketball.
“I believe coaching is teaching and mentoring,” he said. “We’ll take a holistic approach to coaching. My hope is that we can grow these guys to become great husbands and fathers, as well as athletes. I’m excited because I believe wholeheartedly that we have a group of talented young men.”
Jordan emphasized his hope that Butler players will continue to grow into well-rounded individuals.
He also shed light on the hiring process that started June 9 with a phone call from Collier discussing the job. He said the next day Collier called back and requested an interview in person. Monday evening, Collier offered the job to Jordan.
“I think not until things were official did I think realistically [that I could have this position,] Jordan said.
Since Holtmann’s departure, two questions continue to linger in the mind of fans: What about the recruits? What about the coaching staff?
Three incoming recruits — Cooper Neese, Jerald Butler and Aaron Thompson — stated they will still enroll at Butler despite Holtmann’s departure. Kyle Young and Christian David, two of the four-star recruits that helped make this class the highest-rated class in program history, have not made a decision.
“I have reached out to recruits and we have had conversations,” Jordan said, adding that they were good conversations and he hoped to keep the athletes on board.
As for his coaching staff, Jordan says that will be formalized soon, adding that he will be selective in who he chooses.
“My staff will have to be one that fits Butler,” he said. “They have to have their priorities in place.”
Jordan made it well known on multiple occasions that he loves the school, the program, the history and the people, and he is excited to join the crowd in Hinkle Fieldhouse come October.
“I can’t wait for the first game when I hear the chant: ‘BU – TLE – R U a Bulldog’…and I might stop coaching for a second and say, ‘Hell yeah.’”