The Valparaiso University men’s basketball program welcomes back a familiar face to the bench this season, as head coach Matt Lottich announced today that Matt Bowen has returned to Valpo as special assistant to the head coach/director of basketball operations.
“We’re lucky to bring on board to our program somebody like Matt, who owns a lot of experience in the business and previous experience here at Valpo,” said Lottich. “Matt has a great basketball mind and comes from a great basketball family. He’s also had the chance to work for numerous great coaches throughout his career such as Bob Knight, Murry Bartow, and Homer and Scott Drew. His experience and leadership qualities will be vital to our success this year, and we’re really excited he’s on board again at Valpo.”
Bowen spent the last six seasons as head coach of the University of Minnesota Duluth men’s basketball program. He led the Bulldogs in 2014-15 and 2015-16 to their highest back-to-back win totals since the 2002-03 and 2003-04 teams. Under his tutelage, UMD cracked the NABC Top 25 national rankings in January of 2016, while each of his last four Bulldog teams ranked among the top-10 in the nation in fewest turnovers/game.
Prior to UMD, Bowen served six seasons as men’s basketball head coach at Bemidji State University. The fourth head coach in seven years when he took the position, Bowen increased the program’s win total in five of his six seasons, culminating with the 2011-12 squad setting a school record for wins in a season. The 2011-12 NSIC coach of the year, Bowen recruited and coached the 2012 Daktronics NCAA D-II National Player of the Year in James Ellisor, as well as two of the top-10 leading scorers in the 90-year history of the Bemidji State program and the program’s all-time assist leader.
Bowen was a member of the men’s basketball coaching staff at Valpo from 2002 through 2006, spending one season as an assistant coach under Scott Drew and three seasons working as an assistant for Homer Drew. Bowen helped the Crusaders to 70 wins over his four years on staff, including back-to-back Mid-Continent Conference regular season championships and a Mid-Con Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth in 2004. Before his first stint at Valpo, Bowen spent six years as an assistant coach at UAB.