Former Iowa coach Todd Lickliter resigns at Marian University

Michael Pointer,
Former Iowa coach Todd Lickliter yells instructions after a Hawkeye defensive lapse resulted in a score by Texas-San Antonio.

Todd Lickliter, who won national coach of the year honors while the head coach at Butler, resigned Friday after three years as the head coach at Marian University, officials from Marian announced.

Lickliter compiled a 49-36 record in three seasons at Marian, including a 16-15 record this season. The Knights ended their season on a six-game losing streak, capped by a 71-52 loss at Saint Francis in the first-round of the Crossroads League Tournament. Marian is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

"I want to thank coach Lickliter for his service to Marian University and our men's basketball program," athletic director Steve Downing said in a statement. "He is a man of great character and has represented us well. The entire Marian University community wishes him the best in his future endeavors."

Lickliter left Butler after leading it to a second Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2007 for Iowa, where he was fired after three seasons. He spent one season as an assistant at Miami of Ohio before being hired at Marian, where he succeeded longtime coach John Grimes, who went 20-11 in his final season.

"This is a great Catholic university and a great city," Marian President Daniel J. Elsener said during a news conference announcing Lickliter's hiring in 2012. "We deserve excellence and to compete for championships. That's why we're here today."

But Lickliter's best record at Marian was 16-8 during the 2013-14 season and the basketball program wasn't able to match the high-profile success of its football team, which played in the NAIA title game last December and won a national championship in 2012.

Downing said at news conference introducing former IndyStar Miss Basketball Katie Gearlds as the new Marian women's basketball coach two years ago that he hoped Lickliter could work as a mentor to then 28-year-old coach. The Marian women's team is now 28-5 and ranked seventh in the country.

There was speculation Lickliter would return to Butler after coach Brandon Miller took a medical leave of absence just before this season, but he was never offered the position. Butler assistant Chris Holtmann was given the job on an interim basis and hired permanently on Jan. 2.

Lickliter's overall record in 12 seasons as a head coach is 218-154. He told the Star during an interview during December 2013 that he regretted leaving Butler, but the chance to coach in his hometown again at Marian was refreshing and declined to call it a step down from NCAA Division I.

"It's no different," Lickliter said at the time. "I don't care if it's Madison Square Garden or John Grimes Court (Marian's playing floor, named after his predecessor). Once you start competing, you want to do well."