CHICAGO – After four years as an assistant for Porter Moser, Drew Valentine is taking over as head coach at Loyola.
“It is an absolute honor to be named head men’s basketball coach at Loyola University Chicago,” Valentine said. “I’d like to congratulate one of the biggest mentors and role models in my life, Coach Moser, on his new opportunity at the University of Oklahoma. The impact that he has made on this entire University will not forgotten. We will continue to do things the right way, with character and passion! The vision and standard that Coach Moser established will forever remain a part of the culture.”
Valentine has been the Ramblers de facto defensive coordinator, helping lead the program to three Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championships and two trips to the NCAA Tournament.
“Drew was such an integral part of all of our success at Loyola. He has a passion for people and an extremely bright basketball mind,” Moser noted. “It was an absolute no-brainer for him to take over and continue the culture at Loyola. In Drew, people will see a tireless worker but also someone who pours himself into young men. He is unbelievable at building relationships. I’ve known this for a while, but Drew has all of the qualities needed to be a great head coach.”
The Lansing native spent two seasons as a graduate manager at Michigan State, where he assisted coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans to a 53-21 record, two Sweet 16 appearances and a berth in the 2015 NCAA Final Four.
“Drew Valentine is one of the great young coaches in college basketball and I just think it’s a natural for Loyola Chicago to name him as its next men’s basketball head coach,” explained Izzo. “He’s been with their program for four years and has been such an important part of their success during this run. He has a great mind for the game and is just a high-energy guy who is a tremendous leader for the kids who play for him.
Obviously, we know the Valentine family and they are terrific. Both his father, Carlton, who I recruited, and his brother, Denzel, who became a national player of the year, played here at Michigan State. I’ve known Drew since he was 5 years old and while is he just 29-year-old, I think he is much older and wiser because of all of his experience. Having had the opportunity to work at MSU as a graduate assistant while his brother played here allowed him to learn how to separate himself and helped him grow his own voice as a coach. Drew Valentine is a winner and I have no doubt that he will continue to do just that for Loyola.”
At the age of 29, he is believed to be the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball.