Todd Lickliter And Matt Graves Join Purple Aces Staff
The first coaching staff is now complete as University of Evansville head men’s basketball coach Walter McCarty has announced the hiring of Todd Lickliter and Matthew Graves as assistant coaches.
“Our program is very blessed and fortunate to add two assistants with head coaching experience,” McCarty said. “Todd and Matthew are both great teachers of the game and will do a great job of helping our guys grow on and off the court. The success of your program is all about surrounding yourself with great people and we have done just that with Todd and Matthew, as well as Terrence Commodore and Logan Baumann.”
Todd Lickliter is a coach who is synonymous with basketball in Indiana. A 1979 graduate of Butler University, Lickliter began his college coaching career with the Bulldogs as an assistant in 1988 before rejoining the staff in 1999. He was promoted to the head coach at Butler in 2001 and enjoyed immediate success.
In his first season at the helm, he directed the Bulldogs to a then-school record of 26 victories and its third Horizon League regular season championship in a row. His squad also reached the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in 53 years. Lickliter’s success only got better as he led Butler to a pair of Sweet 16 appearance in 2003 and 2007.
His top honor came in 2007 as he was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) National Coach of the Year. He left the program with the top three single-season win totals in school history. Lickliter became the head coach at the University of Iowa in 2007 and also led the program at Marian University in 2012. In his second season with the Knights, he led them to the most conference wins in school history along with the #1 scoring defense in NAIA Division II. After leaving Marian, he joined the Boston Celtics as a scout.
“The opportunity to have someone with the experience of Todd Lickliter next to me in my first season as a head coach is very exciting,” McCarty said. “With all of the experience he has had as a head coach, he will be invaluable to myself and our team. He has a great basketball mind and is a wonderful teacher of the game.”
Matthew Graves joins the Purple Aces staff after a 5-year stint as the head coach at the University of South Alabama. In his stint with the Jaguars, he changed the culture of the program, resulting in the best GPA for the program in five years in just his first season as head coach. Over his first three campaigns at USA, Graves saw them improve their win total each season.
Graves directed Augustine Rubit to the school and Sun Belt Conference records in rebounding while becoming the first USA player to earn All-Sun Belt recognition on four occasions. His second season saw the program earn its first conference tournament win in three seasons.
Prior to his time with the Jaguars, Graves spent 17 years at Butler University as a student-athlete and coach. In 2001, he joined Todd Lickliter’s BU staff as coordinator of basketball operations. After two seasons, he was promoted to an assistant coach before being named the associate head coach in 2010 by Brad Stevens.
With Graves on staff, the Bulldogs made a national tournament in each of his last eight seasons along with eight seasons in a row with 20+ victories. His coaching career at Butler was highlighted by a pair of appearances in the NCAA Tournament Championship Game in 2010 and 2011.
As a student-athlete at Butler, Graves was a member of the 1997 team that made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 35 years. He was the team MVP as he led the Horizon League in free throw shooting while earning a nod on the All-Tournament Team with his 18-point performance in the championship game. Off the court, he was named to the GTE Academic All-District V Team while garnering an academic all-league selection.
“Matthew is another coach who brings a lot of great things to our program; he will help us to do things the right way,” McCarty explained. “He a good recruiter that will bring in guys that this community will be proud of. Matthew is another guy who has spent a lot of time with Todd (Lickliter) and Brad (Stevens) and brings that same type of experience.”