Being reported on the front page of SI.com
Todd Lickliter, named Horizon League Coach of the Year in 2005-06, completed his fifth season as Butler's head coach, and he already stands in fourth place on the Bulldogs' all-time list for basketball coaching victories. He ranks second among Butler head coaches with at least three seasons in winning percentage, and he's second in number of 20-win seasons (3). 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 Sweet 16 of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship!
The current Butler coach already owns the top two single season win totals in Butler basketball history, and he has the best winning percentage of any coach in the Horizon League with a 102-54 (.654) career record. He ranks third among the "Top 10 Best Career Starts By Wins-2 years" in the NCAA Division I, trailing only Bill Guthridge of North Carolina (58 wins, 1998-99) and Everett Case of North Carolina State (55 wins, 1947-48). Lickliter led the Bulldogs to an unbeaten record at home (12-0) in 2002-03, and he's guided Butler to a 57-10 home mark over five seasons. He's also directed Butler to 45 wins away from Hinkle Fieldhouse in five seasons! The Bulldogs, under his direction, are 3-3 against teams ranked in the "Top 25," and own three of the "Top 10" winning streaks in Butler history. Three of his first five teams have ended the year in postseason play!
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 championship. He led Butler to regular season tournament championships at the Top of the World Classic and the Hoosier Classic. The win at the Top of the World Classic in Alaska was Butler's first regular season tournament title in 41 years, while the victory at the Hoosier Classic ended host Indiana's streak of 19 consecutive titles in the 20-year run of the tournament. Lickliter became the first basketball coach in Butler's 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 he guided the Bulldogs to their first-ever unbeaten non-conference record.
Topping that campaign seemed a tall order, but Lickliter guided the Bulldogs to an even more impressive season in his second year as head coach. He led Butler to a 27-6 record, breaking the school single season mark for victories for a second consecutive year. His squad picked up a second straight Horizon League regular season title, and he led the Bulldogs 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 16" of the Division I national championship with upset victories over #5 Mississippi State and #4 Louisville. The Bulldogs became the first team from the Horizon League to win two games in the NCAA Tournament in more than a decade!
Lickliter, 51, was named Butler's 20th men's basketball coach in May of 2001, following a strong lobbying effort by Butler's 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 for one season at Butler under head coach Joe Sexson, 1988-89. 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 under Collier and Matta. During his three seasons on the staff of the two former head coaches, Lickliter helped the Bulldogs 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 #10 Wisconsin and #23 Wake Forest. The win over the Demon Deacons in the 2001 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship was Butler's first NCAA tournament win in 39 years.
Lickliter began his collegiate coaching career at Butler in 1988-89 under his former college coach, Joe Sexson. He left Butler after one year to accept a head coaching job at Danville High School in Indiana, where he remained for three seasons. He returned to the collegiate ranks in 1996 as an administrative assistant on Collier's staff. 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 helped North Central to a sectional title in Hinkle Fieldhouse in 1973, and he played his final high school game in the Fieldhouse in the 1975 sectional semifinals. Following his high school graduation, he enrolled at North Carolina-Wilmington, but wound up transferring to Central Florida Community College. He played one season at Central Florida, earning an 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.
Beyond his high school and college coaching duties, Lickliter has invested considerable time in a variety of basketball camps and clinics. He was a founder, along with Randy Wittman and Mike Woodson, and director of the Hoosier Pro Basketball Camp, and he's served as an instructor and lecturer at the Five Star Basketball Camp in New York, The Right Stuff Basketball Camp in Alabama and the Indianapolis Basketball Academy in Indianapolis.
Lickliter and his wife, Joez, have three sons, Ry, Garrett and John.
Just seems odd that a coach would leave his Alma Mater like that.