Michigan assistant LaVall Jordan appears to be the frontrunner to replace Brad Stevens at Butler. (Carlos Osorio/AP)
The biggest question anyone within a close radius of Hinkle Fieldhouse is asking in the wake of Brad Stevens’ decision Wednesday to become the next head coach of the Boston Celtics: Who’s going to replace him?
Two candidates have emerged, and according to multiple reports, one of them could receive an official offer as soon as this weekend. Butler has a history of hiring coaches already familiar with the program, and every signal indicates the man selected to follow Stevens’ incredible six-year run at the school will likewise have some connection to Bulldogs lore.
The frontrunner is Michigan assistant LaVall Jordan. His legacy at Butler includes an illustrious playing career spanning two Midwestern Collegiate Conference regular season championships and three league titles. He also served as an assistant under former coach Todd Lickliter from 2004-07. At Michigan, Jordan was instrumental in grooming All-American point guard and first-round draft pick Trey Burke into one of the nation’s most complete backcourt players.
Also in the mix is current assistant Brandon Miller, who also played and coached at Butler. Athletic Director Barry Collier interviewed Miller Wednesday night and reportedly met with Jordan Thursday afternoon.
Either hire would make perfect sense for a Butler program that has long emphasized the importance of staying in the family with coaching hires. Losing Stevens on the cusp of Butler’s move to the Big East is a major setback, but the Bulldogs already appear to be getting back on their feet, ready to replace their departed coach mere days after his announcement was made official.
Coaching turnover is never an easy thing to deal with. The Bulldogs have given that impression with recent hires, and their next move, if carried out with the haste and decisiveness most reports suggest, would be an excellent step toward overcoming the loss of their NBA-poached former coach.