Milwaukee’s men’s basketball team is yet again facing changes after Coach Lavall Jordan accepted the head coaching position at Butler. Coach Val made the decision of a lifetime by accepting a position at Butler University because he himself was once a Bulldog. Any coach in this position would be eager, honored, and excited to lead their alma mater to victories. Having only coached at Milwaukee for a year, he couldn’t build the program, nor leave an impressive legacy to remember. The absence of Coach Val has many wondering what will the future hold for the men’s basketball team and whether there should be a program.
Coach Val owes a lot of his success to Butler based upon his accomplishments as a player and coach. Years prior to Coach Val becoming the head basketball coach at Milwaukee, he was an assistant coach at Butler. He spent a total of four years trying to shape and construct the Bulldogs as an assistant. He has dedicated countless hours and days to ensure that the Bulldogs would be successful during his initial time as a staff member. Coach Val and Butler’s connection runs deep and nothing can compare to that. Coach Val’s decision to coach at Butler is almost historic for the basketball industry since not many coaches get this kind of opportunity.
Coach Val was able to make an impact on this past season at UWM, but unfortunately, not an impact that made a difference on the program. Besides, he was only a part of the Panther staff for just a year. During his time at Milwaukee, he was able to lead the Panthers with a 11-24 overall record at the end of the 2016-2017 season. The men’s basketball program was seeded 10th going into the Horizon League Basketball Tournament having only won eight games on their non-conference and conference schedule. During their run at the Horizon League Basketball Tournament, the team was able to pick up three more victories and earned a chance to fight for a Horizon League title. However, during the final game of the tournament, the basketball team were unable to bring home a victory, leaving people unbothered by Coach Val’s decision to head to Butler and others questioning the decision to fire Rob Jeter.
Statistically, Rob Jeter had the better numbers, and he wanted to continue to reform the men’s program.
Even though Coach Val is no longer a member of Milwaukee’s coaching staff, the Milwaukee Panthers will continue to prowl along in their upcoming seasons due to their Panther family support. But, they need more support as they continue along the way. Typically, the attendance at the Panther Arena is less than 2,000 even with all of the marketing that is done on campus. Losing a team like the men’s basketball program due to attendance can be a hard thing to adapt to, especially because UWM doesn’t have a football team. The team faces many obstacles throughout the season. But, one way to avoid the fan obstacle is to host more games at the Klotsche Center.
This editorial was written by Ryaen Johnson based on the opinions of a JAMS 504 editorial board.