Now that Todd Lickliter has been named the new coach at Iowa he needs to find time to retrieve his car in Atlanta. The former Butler coach drove to the Final Four before flying back to Iowa City to be named the Hawkeye’s new coach. It wrapped up a process that began when former coach Steve Alford left for New Mexico less than two weeks ago.
Iowa AD Gary Barta says they had two candidates remaining on the final day Monday, and he says they did not make an offer to anyone else. Barta says he did not set a timetable going into the search. He says he didn’t know he would return from the Final Four with a coach. Barta says finding the right person was the most important thing, and once he knew he had the right person, he made the offer.
Lickliter spent six seasons at Butler and led the Bulldogs to a pair of trips to the sweet 16, including this past season in which Butler fell to eventual national champion Florida in the NCAA Tournament. Lickliter says he felt he had a good job, and says he’s indebted to Butler and says Butler "will always be very special." Lickliter says after meeting with Barta, it became clear that Iowa was a "special, special place."
Lickliter says his family supports his decision to make the move. He says his son is a junior in high school and the new job could mean a move. Lickliter says he told his son John a move could be unsettling, but John said, "Dad it’s Iowa."
Lickliter says he wanted the job after his first meeting with Iowa officials. He says he left the meeting anxious, because he was so impressed that he wanted to get a call back. Lickliter says his wife was more anxious, as she was pacing.
Unlike his predecessor Lickliter does not feel Iowa’s commitment to football hampers the basketball program. Lickliter says he doesn’t think Iowa is a "football school", he says it’s a school with a "tremendous football program." Lickliter says Iowa has a lot of good sports programs, and if the school has success in them, then it can have success in basketball.
Lickliter also played at Butler but says the Iowa job was too good to pass up. He says he "couldn’t turn it down." Lickliter says: "I’ll always be a Hawkeye now. I’m just thrilled with this opportunity and with what this presents." No contract has been signed but Lickliter will get a seven year deal that pays him one-point-two-million dollars annually plus incentives.