VALPARAISO | Bryce Drew rounded out the Valparaiso men's basketball coaching staff on Monday afternoon, announcing the hiring of former Stanford guard Matt Lottich.
Lottich brings nine years of professional playing experience to the Crusaders and the Winnetka native will serve in the position that was recently vacated by former assistant Jake Diebler.
Lottich becomes the latest in a long line of Valparaiso assistants that have been hired without previous coaching experience, joining Drew and current assistants Roger Powell and Luke Gore.
"Matt comes with a lot playing experience and he's been around a lot of coaches that he has learned from," Drew said. "We're excited that he'll come in here and work with our perimeter players and be able to use those experiences to help our guys get better."
Lottich was the Chicago Tribune Athlete of the Year following his senior season at New Trier in 2000. Lottich then went to Stanford where he played for the No. 1 team in the country before beginning a professional career.
"There are a lot similarities between Valpo and Stanford," Lottich said. "Specifically in the type of student-athletes both schools have. I see guys here that want to play basketball the right way."
Following his professional playing career, Lottich worked for the National Collegiate Scouting Association where he served as a national scout who evaluated prospective student-athletes in order to provide feedback for the college level. Drew believes that experience more than makes up for not having any coaching experience.
"We found with Jake and with Roger that it really is just about the person," Drew said. "Matt is an intense individual who will fit in with the rest of the staff and our team here."
Lottich was very complimentary of Drew and Valparaiso, having talked to a lot of people in the industry who voiced similar compliments.
"It became apparent to me that you have to like who you're working with and who you're working for," Lottich said. "I'm incredibly excited to be working for Coach Drew, who is one of the most well-respected people in all of coaching."