The day Twitter exploded. It dropped like a bomb.
A once beloved head men’s basketball coach and a babyfaced icon after two runs to the National Championship, Brad Stevens chose to leave the basketball program that made him famous for perhaps the most prestigious franchise in all of professional basketball – the Boston Celtics.
In the past, the lure of UCLA and Illinois were not enough to take him away from his hometown university, but it seems that when the most historic NBA franchise comes calling, it is tough to turn it down.
Now, a new opportunity is in store for Brad Stevens. But where does that leave Butler?
A short list of candidated has risen on the internet and it is mostly what people familiar with the program would expect. Three current assistants on the Butler staff will be interviewing along with current Michigan assistant Lavall Jordan and Matthew Graves, who is in his first season as the head coach at South Alabama.
Initially it appears that Lavall Jordan may be the favorite. Having graduated from and coached Butler for four seasons before leaving with Todd Lickliter for Iowa, Jordan is known for his strong ability to recruit. He has had a hand in the current success Michiganis enjoying and was a main factor in luring in some of the top players in the country for that program.
Jordan, at this point, may be the quickest fix. It is hard to tell if Graves would be willing to leave for Butler after just being named head coach at South Alabama earlier this summer.He has not even coached a game there yet.
If he does so choose though, he may be in direct line to get the job. He was the “next man up” while at Butler, so they may be trying to get back in contact with him.
As for the assistants on the current staff, Michael Lewis was another player under Bob Knight’s system that is now into coaching. He played for the Hoosiers from 1997-2000 and left as the school’s all-time leader in assistant with nearly 550.
Brandon Miller is in his first season back from a coaching hiatus after coaching on Butler’s staff in 2007-08 and playing for the Bulldogs in the early 2000s. He has also emerged as a top candidate if they promote from one of the assistants.
Finally, Terry Johnson has been on the Butler staff since 2007 and has held administrative positions as well. He has also served coaching time at Auburn and IPFW.
At this point, those seem to be the top candidates for the job. The only other name I have heeard come up in regards to someone outside of the program is current Michigan State assistant and former IPFW head coach Dane Fife, who also played for Indiana in the early 2000s.
A timetable has not yet been set, but the July evaluation period is huge for recruiting and that should lead to a quick selection process. I would venture to say that a new coach will be announced, at the latest, this weekend.