The Loyola Chicago basketball program moved quickly to replace former head coach Porter Moses, who left the Ramblers to take over for Lon Kruger with the Oklahoma Sooners.
Loyola Chicago will be staying in the program and hiring 29-year-old assistant Drew Valentine, according to Lansing State Journal reporter Graham Couch.
Valentine, who becomes the youngest head coach in Division I men’s basketball, will celebrate his 30th birthday in May. He has spent the past four seasons with the Ramblers as an assistant coach under Moses.
“Drew has a great coaching pedigree with his father being a coach and then working under two of the best coaches in the game in Tom Izzo and Greg Kampe,” Moser said in a statement from the university. “Drew is a winner and has played a key role with successful programs, helping Oakland to the NCAA Tournament as a player and then assisting with Michigan State’s run to the Final Four.
“He made an immediate impact at Oakland and helped elevate that program into a perennial top team in the Horizon League. Drew is a high-energy individual and is a rising star in this profession.”
Valentine is the older brother of former Michigan State star turned Chicago Bulls first-round pick Denzel Valentine.
Before joining the Loyola Chicago staff, Valentine had spent four seasons as a star player for the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. He then served as a graduate manager under Tom Izzo at Michigan State.
We will have to see if promoting from within will allow the Ramblers to continue their winning culture.