Butler coach LaVall Jordan leans on Christ while leading No. 11 Bulldogs to strong start

With a 12-1 record and six wins over Power 5 conference opponents, head coach LaVall Jordan has the Butler Bulldogs off to their best start since the 2008-09 season, when they played in the Horizon League and were coached by Brad Stevens. Butler is ranked 11th in the AP poll released Monday.

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Jordan, who is in his third season as Butler’s head coach, played for the Bulldogs from 1997-2001. He joined Butler’s staff in 2003 following a short professional career. Jordan also served as an assistant coach at Iowa and Michigan before accepting his first head coaching position at Milwaukee in 2016.

Jordan says his faith plays a crucial role in how he approaches coaching and building relationships with his players.

“It’s a huge part,” he said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast earlier in 2019. “Knowing that we’re all designed to grow under God’s grace, the relationships obviously being so important, just being that mentor to these young men as they’re growing. Just trying to help them grow and have a genuine relationship with them, I think that’s a big part of who I am.”

Though he grew up in the church, Jordan says he didn’t take full ownership of his faith until he was let go as part of a coaching change at Iowa in 2010. It was in that time of uncertainty he gave his life to Christ.

“I just had this ultimate peace from that point on, that whatever happens, wherever I end up, I know who’s in charge and I know that there’s a purpose to what I’m doing, and I just have to follow and walk faithfully,” Jordan said.

When Chris Holtmann left Butler to take the Ohio State job prior to the 2017-18 season, Jordan jumped at the opportunity to return to his alma mater. He led the Bulldogs to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in his first year at the helm.

Butler missed out on the NCAA Tournament last season but is well on its way to another appearance in March Madness this year with conference play starting this week. Jordan’s Bulldogs travel to St. John’s for their Big East opener Tuesday night with the opening tip scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

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