The Lickliter File
READ: It's Not All Hoops With Lickliter, Des Moines Register
Todd Lickliter is in his third season as The University of Iowa's head men's basketball coach after being named to the position on April 3, 2007. Lickliter joined the Iowa program after serving as the head coach at Butler University for six seasons (2001-07). He is Iowa's 21st men's basketball coach.
Lickliter holds a career record of 159-97 (.621), including a 28-36 (.438) mark at Iowa. He posted a 131-61 (.682) record as Butler's head coach. He led Butler to four post-season tournament berths, including trips to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2003 and 2007.
In his second season at Iowa, Lickliter led the Hawkeyes to a 15-17 overall record. Iowa ranked 16th in the nation in scoring defense (59.6), 24th in free throw percentage (.744) and 30th in three-point field goals per game (8.1).
The Hawkeyes defeated six teams in the RPI Top 100 despite not being at full strength. Ten of Iowa's losses were by eight points or less, including six by four points or less. The Hawkeyes won three overtime games and another four games by six points or less.
Iowa's top scorer in non-conference action missed the entire second semester, top rebounder Cyrus Tate missed all of nine games due to injury and assist leader Jeff Peterson missed the final seven games, also due to injury.
His first Iowa team posted 13 regular season wins while suffering two major injuries, as junior Tony Freeman missed 10 games and freshman Jarryd Cole missed the entire Big Ten season. Both were in the starting line-up when healthy. The Hawkeyes allowed just 58 points per game, ranking second in the Big Ten Conference and fifth in the nation in scoring defense.
Lickliter was named the 2006-07 Division I Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and was recognized as the High-Major Coach of the Year by collegehoops.net. He was also named 2007 Horizon League Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year after guiding the Bulldogs to a school and league-record 29 victories.
He led Butler to the regular season championship in the Horizon League in 2007. The Bulldogs advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual national champion Florida (65-57). Butler, in 2008, repeated as Horizon League champions.
In posting a 29-7 record in 2006-07 Butler led the nation in fewest turnovers per game (9.5), ranked fifth in scoring defense (57.1), seventh in free throw percentage (76%), 13th in won-loss percentage (.806), 17th in scoring margin (10.5) and 20th in three-point field goals per game (8.9).
Butler was ranked in the national top 25 for 16 consecutive weeks during the 2006-07 season and became the first team in the history of the Horizon League to be ranked in the top 10. The Bulldogs won three games over top 25 opponents (Tennessee, Gonzaga, Maryland) and recorded eight victories over teams that participated in the NCAA Tournament.
Butler averaged 22 wins in six seasons under Lickliter, winning league titles in 2002, 2003 and 2007. The Bulldogs won four in-season tournaments, including the 2006 NIT Season Tip-Off and the 2006 Wooden Classic.
Along with winning at least 20 games in four of six seasons at Butler, Lickliter's student-athletes also excelled in the classroom. Butler's graduation rate of 82% for men's basketball in Lickliter's final season ranked best among all Sweet Sixteen teams in the 2007 NCAA Tournament and guard A.J. Graves joined Iowa's Adam Haluska on the 2007 academic all-America first team. Butler also held the top graduation rate among NCAA Sweet Sixteen teams when the Bulldogs advanced past Mississippi State and Louisville in the 2003 NCAA Tournament.
Lickliter's 2006-07 team captured the Midwest Region title of the NIT Season Tip-Off with back-to-back victories over Notre Dame and Indiana. The Bulldogs continued their roll in New York, defeating 22nd-ranked Tennessee and 23rd-ranked Gonzaga to capture the pre-season NIT.
The Bulldogs began the 2006-07 season with 10 straight victories, including a triumph over Purdue in the Wooden Tradition. The 10 wins matched the second-fastest start in school history and the fifth-longest winning streak in school annals. Butler cracked the "Top 25" on Nov. 27 and was nationally-ranked for a school and league record 16 consecutive weeks. Lickliter's club became the first team in Horizon League history to break into the nation's "Top 10" on Feb. 5.
At mid-season Lickliter was named the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year, presented by Collegeinsider.com. He also earned the mid-season Hugh Durham Award, which at mid-season recognizes the top coach at the mid-major level.
The 2006-07 Bulldogs became the first team in league history to record 20 wins before February and the first Horizon League team to win 26 regular season games. Butler had three wins over teams that were ranked in the "Top 25" and eight victories over squads that advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Lickliter became the first coach in Horizon League history to be honored by the NABC as Coach of the Year. He owns three of the top single-season win totals in Butler history, including 29 wins in 2007, 26 in 2002 and 27 in 2003. The Bulldogs also won 20 games in 2004.
Lickliter ranks fourth on Butler's all-time list for basketball coaching victories. He ranks second among Butler head coaches with at least three seasons in winning percentage (.682) and second in number of 20-win seasons (four). He became the first Butler coach to reach 50 career wins in just two seasons and the first to achieve 100 victories in five seasons. And, he's one of just four coaches in the history of the Horizon League to guide a team to the NCAA "Sweet Sixteen".
Lickliter led the Bulldogs to an unbeaten home record (12-0) in 2002-03, and mentored Butler to a 70-12 (.854) home mark in his six seasons. Lickliter also directed Butler to 61 victories away from Hinkle Fieldhouse. His Bulldog teams were 6-5 against teams ranked in the "Top 25" in the nation.
In 2005-06, Butler's men's basketball program earned the Horizon League Outreach Award, compiling the highest number of community service hours among all teams at Butler University. In his six seasons as the head coach at Butler, 19 of 20 seniors earned their degree.
In his first season as Butler's head coach, Lickliter guided the Bulldogs to a then school-record 26 victories and a third consecutive Horizon League regular season title. He led Butler to regular season tournament championships at the Top of the World Classic in Alaska and Indiana's Hoosier Classic. The win at the Top of the World Classic marked Butler's first regular season tournament title in 41 years. The victory at the Hoosier Classic ended Indiana's streak of 19 consecutive titles in the 20-year history of the event.
Lickliter was the first basketball coach in Butler history to win his first 13 games, and he became the first coach to lead Butler to more than 20 regular season wins. He set school and conference records for most wins by a first-year coach, and he led the Bulldogs to the third-highest single season win total in league history. He had Butler ranked in the "Top 25" for the first time in 53 years, and guided the Bulldogs to their first-ever unbeaten non-conference record.
Lickliter guided the 2003 Bulldogs to an even more impressive season in his second year. He led Butler to a 27-6 record, breaking the single-season mark for victories for a second consecutive year. His squad earned a second straight Horizon League regular season title and returned to post-season play for the second consecutive year. Butler earned its first "at-large" bid to the NCAA Tournament since 1962, and the Bulldogs went on to reach the Sweet Sixteen with upset victories over fifth-seeded Mississippi State and fourth-seeded Louisville.
Lickliter was named Butler's basketball coach in May, 2001, following a strong lobbying effort by Butler players (Horizon League "Player of the Year" Rylan Hainje called Lickliter ". . . a great coach." Mike Monserez said, "Coach Lickliter treats us with respect; he treats us like men." Guard Brandon Miller added that Lickliter ". . . is one of the smartest coaches I've ever been around.").
He replaced his former boss, Thad Matta, who left the Bulldogs after one season to become head coach at Xavier. Lickliter, who became Butler's third head coach in three seasons, had served as an assistant coach under the Bulldogs' previous two head coaches, Barry Collier and Matta. He was also an assistant coach (1988-89) for one season at Butler under Coach Joe Sexson. He became the third consecutive former Butler player to guide the Bulldogs.
A 1979 Butler graduate, Lickliter played a prominent role in refining Butler's basketball system ("The Butler Way") while serving as an assistant coach. During his three seasons on the staff of the two former head coaches, Lickliter helped the Bulldogs post three 20-win seasons, three conference regular season titles, three league tournament crowns and three trips to the NCAA Tournament. In his final two seasons as a Butler assistant coach, the Bulldogs compiled a 47-18 record, including "Top 25" wins over 10th-ranked Wisconsin and 23rd-ranked Wake Forest. The win over the Demon Deacons in the 2001 NCAA Tournament was Butler's first NCAA Tournament victory in 39 years.
Lickliter began his collegiate coaching career at Butler in 1988-89 under Sexson, his former college coach. He left Butler after one year to accept a head coaching job at Danville, IN High School, where he remained for three seasons. He returned to the collegiate ranks in 1996 as an administrative assistant on Collier's staff at Butler. Lickliter accepted an assistant coaching position at Eastern Michigan in 1997 and remained on the Eagles' staff for two seasons before returning to Butler in 1999. In six Division I seasons, he contributed to teams that won three conference regular season championships, four conference tournament titles, made four NCAA Tournament appearances, and compiled a 106-73 record.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Lickliter had high school head coaching stints at Park Tudor High School in Indianapolis (1979-87) and Danville High School (1987-88, 1989-92). He also coached a partial season in Saudi Arabia with the Ah Ahli Sports Club-Jeddah.
Lickliter has had a presence in Indiana basketball dating back to his days as a three-year starting guard at North Central High School in Indianapolis, where he played for his father, Arlan. He began his college career at North Carolina-Wilmington before transferring to Central Florida Community College. He played one season at Central Florida, earning his associate degree in 1977, and then transferred to Butler, where he played his final two collegiate seasons, 1977-79. He earned a B.S degree in secondary education from Butler in 1979.
Lickliter was born April 17, 1955. He and his wife, Joez, have three sons, Ry, Garrett and John, and a daughter-in-law, Molly.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT TODD LICKLITER
SETH DAVIS, CBS SPORTS:
"The hire is a home run, it makes perfect sense. Todd brings a winning attitude and he brings ability. Best of all, he's coming from a place at Butler, that has a winning culture. He will establish a winning culture at Iowa, in their recruiting, in relating to alumni, and his ability to coach. It's a slam dunk for the Hawkeyes."
CLARK KELLOGG, CBS SPORTS:
"Todd is a high quality, class individual, and a terrific coach. I just have great, great respect for him. He does a lot of good things in managing his kids, developing his players and how he coaches the game.
"I'm a big, big fan of Todd's. For what he represents between the lines, but even more importantly how he goes about trying to develop those young men as student athletes under his leadership."
BILL RAFTERY, TV AND RADIO ANALYST:
"He's done such a great job for so long, and it's not a fluke either. He had kids who believe in the system. They are unselfish and play together. They do all the things that terrific coaches get their people to do.
"Everybody has been impressed with what he has been able to do. I think Iowa is very fortunate. Iowa fans will enjoy him, and his style. I think he will be able to attract kids who fit the way he wants to play. I think the future is bright."
JIM O'CONNELL, ASSOCIATED PRESS COLLEGE BASKETBALL WRITER:
"Todd's one of those guys, he's a coaches coach. He takes a team and he gets them to play above their level. When you look at what he did this year; in the Horizon League, they were picked to be down, and yet they come out and knock off teams from the Big Ten, the Big East, the ACC; they ran through the pre-season NIT, it was due to his coaching, and he's been that way for years there.
"When you talk to people and they ask about the best coaches, Todd Lickliter is going to be on the list. Maybe the general public doesn't know him, but everyone inside basketball definitely does."
KEVIN HARLAN, CBS SPORTS:
"I did the second round game when Butler had the win over Maryland. I thought his team was well coached, very well organized. The substitution pattern was terrific, he knew exactly when to take a guy out and when to bring a guy in. Throughout his career, that has been his trademark, very well coached and well prepared teams. No program can ask for more than that."
ANDY KATZ, ESPN COLLEGE BASKETBALL ANALYST:
"It's a great hire for The University of Iowa. Coach Lickliter has been very successful at the mid-major level, especially in the Midwest. He's obviously proven himself in the NCAA Tournament. I don't see why Iowa can't continue its great tradition of being a Big Ten contender under Todd Lickliter. The Butler track record certainly speaks for itself."
BRANDON MILLER, FORMER BUTLER PLAYER UNDER TODD LICKLITER; CURRENT ASSISTANT COACH AT BUTLER UNIVERSITY:
"First and foremost, I think, everyone who has followed what Butler has done in the past; in his six years at Butler, he has taken two separate groups of players at Butler to the `Sweet 16'. As good a coach as he is, I think he's a better person. He's a great family man.
"He's great to his players; players love to play for him. He treats people in general the right way. He's a very humble person, yet at the same time, ultra-competitive, which, I think, translates to his teams. He gets his players to buy into team basketball, to play together. With all that said, that combination has been a great success for the teams that he has coached."
THAD MATTA, HEAD COACH, OHIO STATE:
"Number one, I'm excited for Todd. I think Iowa is getting a great person and a great basketball coach. I played for Todd; I coached with Todd; and Todd coached for me. The job Todd did at Butler University, for the time he was there was incredible. I think that adding him into the league, we are adding a quality person and a quality coach."
Todd Lickliter's Year-by-Year Head Coaching Record
Conf. / Finish
NCAA "Sweet 16"
- - -
- - -
NCAA "Sweet 16"
- - -
- - -
- - -
2 NCAA and 2 NIT appearances