Iowa Hires Butler's Lickliter As Coach

The Associated Press
Monday, April 2, 2007; 10:51 PM

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa hired Todd Lickliter as its new coach Monday night, replacing Steve Alford with the coach who turned mid-major Butler into a NCAA tournament regular.

Lickliter will be introduced by the university at a news conference Tuesday.

He was 131-61 in six years at Butler, taking the Bulldogs to the tournament four times.

This season was his best yet at Butler. The Bulldogs finished 29-7, losing to Florida in the NCAA tournament's round of 16.

The Bulldogs won the NIT Season Tip-off championship and were ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 for 16 consecutive weeks.

Lickliter takes over a program that won just one NCAA tournament game in eight seasons under Alford, who left for New Mexico on March 23.

Iowa went 17-14 last season, missing out on postseason play after winning the Big Ten tournament in 2006. Athletic director Gary Barta said shortly after the Big Ten tournament that the team needed to improve next season _ which will be difficult given that the Hawkeyes lose their best player, senior guard Adam Haluska.

Iowa had initially turned to Tennessee's Bruce Pearl, who was an assistant with the Hawkeyes from 1986-92. The Hawkeyes received permission from Tennessee to formally interview Pearl just three days after Alford' departure, but Pearl quickly turned them down.

Lickliter is Barta's first major hire at Iowa since succeeding current Stanford A.D. Bob Bowlsby last summer.

Barta was in transit from Atlanta to Iowa City and unavailable for comment, Iowa officials said. Lickliter was also unavailable for immediate comment Monday night.

"I wish Todd well. He's given us six great years, but boy am I disappointed that we're losing him," Butler University President Bobby Fong told Indianapolis television station WISH in an interview Monday night.

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