Basketball coach Todd Lickliter has put the Iowa experience in his rear-view mirror. And now he’s looking ahead, with a new job and a new challenge.
Lickliter was named an assistant coach to Charlie Coles at Miami of Ohio today. Lickliter spent the 2010-11 season on sabbatical after Iowa athletic director Gary Barta fired him in March of 2010 following three seasons and a 38-58 record.
“I just want to do this because it’s what I enjoy doing,’’ Lickliter told the Register today. “I believe we were going to do it at Iowa. We were on the right track. It was hard, and it ended before we could get it done. I’ve dealt with that and accepted that. I wish Iowa the best. They have a good fit now (in his successor, Fran McCaffery).’’
Terms of Lickliter’s contract with Miami were not released. But Lickliter said the $1.6 million Iowa still owes him over the next two years, according to the buyout terms of his contract, will not be affected by his new job.
But he couldn’t put a price on how much he missed the game of basketball last season.
“I’ve done it for a long time, and more good times than bad,’’ Lickliter said. “I enjoy being around the game. I love the challenge of competition. So yea, it’s exciting to be able to get back in the gym, and back around good people here. I like the staff a lot. Miami has a rich tradition.’’
Coles, 69, is entering his 16th season as Miami’s head coach. In 21 seasons in the Mid-American Conference – 15 at Miami, his alma mater, and six at Central Michigan, Coles is 345-287. The RedHawks were 15-17 last season but earned the school’s 25th postseason bid by playing in the CBI Tournament. Miami returns four starters this season.
“There’s probably a handful of coaches I’d really like to work for, and Charlie Coles is at the top of that list,’’ Lickliter said. “I feel fortunate to be able to work for him. He’s a special guy.’’
Lickliter has MAC experience himself. He spent two seasons at Eastern Michigan as an assistant coach to Milton Barnes in 1997 and 1998. He returned to Butler, his alma mater, and eventually replaced Thad Matta as head coach in 2001 after Matta took the Xavier job.
Lickliter was 131-61 in six seasons at Butler, reaching the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament twice. He left after that second Sweet 16 appearance, a 29-7 record and NABC National Coach of the Year honors to replace Steve Alford at Iowa on April 3, 2007.
Lickliter starts his new job July 1. But he was in Oxford, Ohio, Tuesday, spending time with Miami assistants Jermaine Henderson and Jason Grunkemeyer to get up to speed with his new job.
“My role is to help Charlie the best I can,’’ Lickliter said. “I’m excited to do that.’’
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball