Butler fires head basketball coach LaVall Jordan after five seasons

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LaVall Jordan

Butler University has fired head men’s basketball coach LaVall Jordan after five seasons.

Barry Collier, director of athletics for Butler, announced the move Friday.

“After a thorough evaluation, I have come to the decision that a change in the leadership of our men’s basketball program is needed,” Collier said in a written statement. “These decisions are never easy, but are incredibly more difficult when it impacts a high-character Bulldog who has represented our university so well for many years. I want to thank LaVall for his dedication to our program, and we wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”’

The firing follows back-to-back sub-.500 seasons for the Bulldogs, who have failed to reach the postseason since 2019 (though they were likely a lock for the canceled 2020 NCAA Tournament). Butler was 14-19 this season after a 10-15 campaign in 2020-2021.

During his tenure, Butler went 83-74 overall, compiling a 40-54 record in the Big East Conference. The team reached postseason play two times in his tenure: the 2018 NCAA Tournament and the 2019 National Invitation Tournament.

Jordan, 42, was a guard for Butler from 1997 to 2001, and Collier was his coach his first three years. Jordan was a starter his last two seasons, earning all-conference honors. He played professional basketball in Europe for one year after graduating.

He also was an assistant on the team’s staff from 2003-2007 and had stints at the universities of Iowa and Michigan before taking on the role of head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2016. He was hired as Butler’s 24th head coach in June 2017.

Jordan was unable to return the Bulldogs to the unprecedented heights achieved under Brad Stevens, who led the team to surprise appearances in the 2010 and 2011 national championship games when the school was in the Horizon League.

Butler had just one winning record in Big East play under Jordan. The Bulldogs lost six of their last seven games. Seven of their Big East regular-season losses this season were by 15 points or more, including a 40-point road defeat to a Villanova team reached this weekend’s Final Four.

Jordan is only the second Butler men’s basketball coach to get fired in nearly a century. The other was Joe Sexson, who was let go in 1989.

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13 thoughts on “Butler fires head basketball coach LaVall Jordan after five seasons

  1. Jordan was a class act, hope he gets another shot as a head coach somewhere else…..he deserves it. Had to have been a tough decision for Collier to cut ties with a guy so entrenched in the program’s history, but it needed to be done. It’s now all about the W/L’s and getting to the big dance, something Jordan fell short of.

    1. I just wish Collier had made a long term decision a month ago when we could have hired a decent coach… Instead he waited out his buyout clause to save some cash and now we will end up with a no-name head coach as everyone else is gobbled up…

  2. A different question for everyone out there plus the IBJ staff.. Was Brad Stevens just such a genius …. or did he just get lucky with the Bulldogs. ? A real question, no hidden agenda. D A

    1. Here’s your answer, from the Wikipedia article “Brad Stevens”:

      “After undertaking a rebuild early in his career, Stevens led the Celtics to the NBA playoffs every year from 2014 to 2021, won a division championship, and appeared in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017, 2018, and 2020. He gained a reputation as one of the NBA’s best coaches, with his motion offense and stingy defense earning plaudits from fans, peers, and players”

      So yes, he is a basketball genius who succeeded at a small college and on the big stage.

    2. Brad was a good coach… but don’t forget he also coached Butler before they were in the Big East!

  3. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. But it helps to have talent and Butler has not had the athletes of late to compete in the Big East. Coach Jordan will get another shot somewhere I think, and hope he has success in his future

  4. I agree with all, LaVall is true class. I think the extra years of players hurt not only him but many other coaches in determining player time on the court. Certainly was not fair to recruits who wanted time, although LaValle did get them minutes and they performed. As we look ahead, can only hope for the best for LaValle and his wonderful family, as well as for our Bulldog program.

  5. It still takes good recruiting and large talent…
    Butler has been lacking in both for a few years.
    A.T. a starter for 5 years as your floor general????????

  6. Butler needs bigs! Small players are plentiful, and we’ve had our share: (Mack, Martin, Clark, Kamara, Harris…), but to have success REQUIRES a couple of big athletic guys in the paint. We’ve had a few bigs, but ours were boys – not men. Until we find a coach (head or assistant) the can attract & transition them into the NBA, we will not have sustained success in the Big East or in March without them. But the coaching must be there too – Ewing isn’t getting it done with his bigs…

    Our fate rests in Collier – who has made more good decisions than not!