Marian to hire Lickliter as coach

Marian to hire Lickliter as coach

Published Jun. 5, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Todd Lickliter is coming back to Indianapolis.

The former Butler and Iowa coach will be named Marian University's next head coach Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the hire told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person requested anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made.

Marian has scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference to make the announcement.

It's a splashy move for an NAIA school that was looking for its first new head coach in more than three decades.


And Lickliter, who replaced Thad Matta at Xavier and Steve Alford at Iowa, again has some big shoes to fill - replacing John Grimes, who retired March 28.

What Lickliter gives Marian is a national name.

The 57-year-old coach went 131-61 in six seasons at Butler, winning three league titles and the 2006 NIT Season Tip-Off. He took the Bulldogs to the NCAA tournament's regional semifinals in 2003 and 2007 and was chosen the 2006-07 national coach of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

It was enough to convince Iowa officials that Lickliter should be Alford's successor.

But Lickliter never had as much success after leaving.

In three seasons at Iowa, his teams never won more than 15 games, never had a winning record and missed the NCAA tournament each of his three seasons. During his final season with the Hawkeyes, Lickliter also missed three non-conference games because he needed surgery to repair a tear in his carotid artery. Lickliter was fired in March 2010 after going 38-57 with the Hawkeyes.

Lickliter sat out the 2010-11 season, then returned to the bench last season as an assistant coach at Miami (Ohio).

Now, he's returning to Indy, just a few miles from his alma mater and the school where he enjoyed his greatest coaching success.

Lickliter began his college playing career as a guard at Central Florida Community College, then transferred to Butler in 1977. He graduated from Butler in 1979.

Lickliter spent the next eight seasons coaching two Indiana high schools - Park Tudor and Danville - before taking his first coaching job at Butler in 1988-89.

After one season, Lickliter returned to Danville High School for three more seasons.

He rejoined the college ranks in 1996 as an administrative assistant at Butler in 1996. He spent the next two seasons as an assistant at Eastern Michigan assistant, then was rehired by coach Barry Collier in 1999. When Collier left to take the Nebraska job in 2000, Lickliter became the top assistant on Matta's staff.

And when Matta left for Xavier in 2001, Lickliter was promoted again and led Butler to its first Top 25 ranking in 53 years and school-record victory totals in each of his first two seasons (26 in 2001-02 and 27 in 2002-03).