Matt Lottich continued the Valparaiso University men's basketball program's run of success in his first season as head coach of the Crusaders, and is poised to keep the program at a high level as he enters his second season in charge in 2017-2018.
In his first season at the helm of the Crusader men's basketball program, Lottich guided Valpo to its fifth Horizon League regular season championship in the last six years as he led the Crusaders to 24 wins and an at-large berth into the NIT. Lottich's inaugural season as head coach was highlighted by a home win over a nationally-ranked Rhode Island squad, as well as neutral-site wins over Alabama and BYU to capture the MGM Grand Main Event.
Lottich coached the Horizon League Player of the Year and an NABC Third Team All-American in Alec Peters, guiding the senior as he closed out one of the top careers in program history. Peters enjoyed his finest season as a senior, ranking among the top-20 in the nation in both scoring and rebounding and breaking five of Valpo's career records.
Lottich was hired as the 22nd head coach in the history of the Valpo men’s basketball program in April of 2016. Lottich, who had served the previous three seasons as an assistant coach on the Crusaders' staff, became just the program’s fifth head coach in the last 36 years.
Lottich arrived at Valparaiso University in summer 2013 and helped guide the Crusaders to 78 victories over his three seasons as an assistant. Valpo won two Horizon League regular season championships and one league tournament title over those three years.
The Crusaders recorded the top two victory totals in program history over Lottich's final two years as an assistant. Valpo broke the previous school record for wins in a season during the 2014-2015 campaign, winning 28 games and earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Then, the 2015-2016 season saw Valpo win a program-record 30 games and advance to the NIT championship game at Madison Square Garden.
Lottich brings nearly a decade of professional playing experience to the head coaching position at Valparaiso University. Lottich spent eight years playing professionally in Japan for the Oita Heat Devils and the Osaka Evessa, earning All-Star recognition four times. He also played one season in Germany in the Bundesliga for the Dusseldorf Giants, played one season in New Zealand in the NBL for the Harbor Heat and was a member of the New Jersey Nets’ summer league team in 2004.
Lottich played collegiately at Stanford University from 2000 through 2004. As a senior in 2003-2004, he helped lead the Cardinal to the Pac-10 title while earning NABC All-Star plaudits, awarded to the top-15 seniors in college basketball. He was also a member of the Wooden Award midseason watch list and was an Honorable Mention All Pac-10 selection as a senior. Lottich was also a member of the program’s conference championship squad as a freshman in 2000-2001 and still ranks among Stanford’s single-season and career leaders in 3-pointers made.
Off the court, Lottich came to Valpo from the National Collegiate Scouting Association, where he started in January 2013. Lottich ascended to the position of head scout during his time with the NCSA, which helps high school athletes navigate the world of college recruiting. Lottich also co-founded the TEAM Life Skills basketball camp in 2004 and spent nine years managing and developing the camp.
Lottich played his prep basketball at New Trier [Ill.] H.S., where he was named the Chicago Tribune Athlete of the Year in 2000 and holds the distinction of being the program’s all-time leading scorer. Lottich graduated from Stanford University in 2004 and currently resides in Valparaiso with his wife, Kylan, and their four children: Grace, Matthan, Christian and Landon.