Todd Townsend has been hired as an assistant coach of the Milwaukee men’s basketball team.
“I'm thrilled about Todd's addition to our coaching staff,” head coach LaVall Jordan said. “He is a very well-rounded coach. He develops great relationships with players and is a teacher of the game. He has deep Midwest recruiting ties including a familiarity with the state of Wisconsin, having played at Marquette. He was member of a Final Four team, so he understands the components of a winning culture. He will serve as a great mentor to our players and is a great fit with our staff."
Townsend comes back to a familiar city in his basketball career, following the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Drake University. His coaching tenure has helped him build strong ties for recruiting in the Midwest and Chicago area.
A former team captain and member of the 2003 Final Four team at nearby Marquette University, Townsend spent four seasons in a similar role at Northern Illinois prior to making the move to Drake. While at NIU, his recruiting efforts helped attract some of the top talent in Illinois to campus.
On the court, Townsend helped mentor Xavier Silas, the leading scorer in the Mid-American Conference and seventh-leading scorer in the nation during the 2010-11 season. During Townsend’s first season on staff, Silas became the first NIU player to earn all-district honors in more than a decade. Silas went on to become the first Huskie to play in the NBA since 1997, spending the 2011-12 season as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers organization.
As a recruiter, Townsend helped NIU sign a number of high-profile in-state recruits, including Abdel Nader, a top-10 recruit in Illinois and Dre Henley, a top-25 recruit in Illinois. Tim Toler, a first team junior college All-American, and highly recruited twins Keith and Kevin Gray were also actively recruited by Townsend and helped the Huskies start to rebuild the program with a young foundation.
As a member of NIU head coach Mark Montgomery’s first staff in 2011-12, Townsend helped coached one of the youngest teams in the nation. NIU saw 55.9 percent of its minutes played by freshmen, the sixth-highest percentage in the country, and the Huskies lead the MAC in offensive rebounds while ranking second in rebounding defense and third in rebounding margin. Abdel Nader became the first NIU player since 2009 to be named to the MAC All-Freshman team.
Prior to coming to NIU, Townsend spent the 2008-09 season in Europe, playing and coaching professionally. Townsend started the season in Germany playing for the Dusseldorf Giants before finishing the season in Sweden as a player/coach with the Norrkoping Dolphins.
A native of Chicago, Ill., Townsend worked as an assistant coach at Northeastern University during the 2007-08 season under head coach Bill Coen. Townsend helped Northeastern’s Matt Janning earn second team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors and Chaisson Allen receive CAA All-Rookie team recognition.
Before beginning his coaching career at Northeastern, Townsend served two years as the director of basketball operations at his alma mater, Marquette. Working under then-head coach Tom Crean, Townsend was part of a staff that guided the Golden Eagles to two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, a 20-12 BIG EAST Conference ledger and a combined record of 44-21 in back-to-back 20-win campaigns.
In four seasons as a player at Marquette (2001-05), Townsend helped the Golden Eagles win 91 games, advancing to postseason play in all four seasons. Marquette made two trips to the NCAA Tournament during Townsend’s playing career, including a trip to the NCAA Final Four in 2003. Townsend started all 33 games on the team that reached Marquette’s first Final Four since 1977. He captained the Golden Eagles during his senior season and was a two-time recipient of the Bart Miller Standard of Excellence Award.
Townsend earned his bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Marquette University, where he met his wife Christine. He has three children: Tyson, Leila, and Charlotte.
Head coach LaVall Jordan has announced that Omar Lowery has been named an assistant coach for the Milwaukee men's basketball team.
Lowery has spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Sam Houston State University, helping direct the team to 44 victories and postseason appearances each year.
"I am thrilled to have Omar joining our staff," Jordan said. "He is from the area and knows the state and Midwest well from a recruiting standpoint. I consider him to be a great role model for our student-athletes. He also has an outstanding track record in skill development, especially with post players."
Lowery has an extensive coaching background in NCAA Division I basketball that includes a season at San Jose State as well as four years as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Cal Poly and three seasons at Texas State.
At both San Jose State and Cal Poly, Lowery was heavily involved in recruiting and was also in charge of skill development for the post players.
Cal Poly basketball saw a new level of success while Lowery was there, setting a program record for Big West victories and a new school record for home wins in one season. The team also posted the program's first-ever win over a ranked opponent when it toppled No. 11 UCLA, 70-68, on the road. He molded Chris Eversley into a First-Team All-Big West performer and Malik Love, Jr., was tabbed the 2011 Big West Co-Freshman of the Year.
While at Texas State (2006-09), he helped recruit seven players ranked among the Top 40 Texas high school prospects and the team increased its victory total each of three seasons Lowery was on the bench.
As a collegiate player, Lowery began his career at South Plains College before transferring to Concordia University Wisconsin, where he earned All-Lake Michigan Conference First-Team honors. He helped Concordia qualify for the 2000 NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in school history after setting a school record by averaging 16.3 points per game.
A Wisconsin native, Lowery graduated from CUW in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education. He received his master's degree in sports administration from Eastern New Mexico in 2006.
Head coach LaVall Jordan has announced that Will Vergollo has been named an assistant coach for the Milwaukee men's basketball team.
Vergollo just completed his third year as the video analyst for the University of Michigan men's basketball program. In that capacity, he managed and assisted the entire basketball staff with the video operations for the program. He headed up the film exchange program, coordinated the recording of opponent games and assisted with preparation for scouting reports.
"I am also very excited about Will's addition to the staff," Jordan said. "He is a tireless worker and a great student of the game. His energy and enthusiasm are contagious and he is a relationship guy who will quickly connect with our players and recruits. We've worked extremely close together, so he is aware of the things we want to execute both on and off the court."
In addition, he led a managerial staff responsible for the filming of all U-M practices and games, as well as assisted with the organization and running of Michigan basketball camps and the U-M coaching clinic. During his three seasons on the Wolverines' staff, the program reached the NCAA Tournament twice, including a trip to the NCAA Elite Eight in 2013-14.
Vergollo was also an assistant coach under first-year head coach Patrick Beilein at West Virginia Wesleyan in 2012-13. Prior to his time at West Virginia Wesleyan, Vergollo had spent six years with the Wolverine basketball program. He spent two years as U-M's graduate manager (2010-12), earning his master's degree in higher education administration and leadership from U-M in 2012. Before his graduate work, he spent four years as a student manager, including the last two as the head manager.
Vergollo completed his bachelor's degree in sports management from U-M in 2010. During his undergrad work, he was part of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars for four years and was the winner of the University Presidential Inaugural Conference Award in 2009. A native of Ann Arbor, Vergollo was the first recipient of the Joel Portnoy Outstanding Student Manager Scholarship in 2009 and received the honor again in 2010. He also served as a U-M Camp Administrator for the basketball team summer camps for five years.
Director Of Operations
Milwaukee men's basketball head coach LaVall Jordan has announced the hiring of Chinedu Nwachukwu to the position of Director of Basketball Operations.
Nwachukwu, who spent the past four seasons at Saginaw Valley State University as an assistant coach, joins the Milwaukee staff and will work directly with Jordan on coordinating team travel, budget, practices and other program functions.
"We are thrilled to add Chinedu to our team," Jordan said. "He is somebody that I trust and am extremely confident in. Having been around him, I have always been impressed with his professionalism and organizational skills. He helped build a winning program at Saginaw Valley as an assistant coach, under great leadership with Coach Baruth. Chinedu has a bright future at the Division I level. He will be a great mentor to our players and I am excited about his opportunity to help our team."
Last season at SVSU was a memorable one for the Nwachukwu. The Cardinals posted a school-record 25 victories while claiming the program's fourth-ever GLIAC championship and the first since the school's transition to the Division II level 25 years ago. The Cards also claimed their first-ever Midwest Regional Championship and a trip to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in Frisco, Texas, all coming in the team's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Saginaw Valley also notched a school-record 18 league wins en route to the team's first title since the 1984-85 season.
Under Nwachukwu's tutelage, junior forward C.J. Turnage earned All-Midwest Region honors from the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association and All-District plaudits from the NABC. Turnage, senior guard Damon Bozeman and junior guard Garrett Hall all earned All-GLIAC honors as well.
In the 2014-15 season, the team posted the best season since the program joined the NCAA Division II level to that point. SVSU posted a 21-9 overall record, including a 16-6 mark in the GLIAC, with the 16 victories marking a new program record. The Cardinals qualified for the 2015 GLIAC Tournament as the No. 4 seed, where they defeated Findlay for the team's first victory in the tournament and berth in the semifinals since 1996-97.
Over the course of the season, SV rattled-off 13 consecutive victories, a feat that hadn't been accomplished since 1989-90 and the most since the program has been in D-II. The Cards led the league in field goal percentage with a mark of 47.3 percent. Under the coaching staff's guidance, Kellen Smith set a single-season record with 177 assists and was named to the GLIAC All-Defensive Team as well. Smith finished 15th nationally with 5.9 assists-per-game. Turnage earned All-GLIAC First Team honors while Bozeman and Hall garnered All-GLIAC Second Team plaudits.
With the team's success came a surge in attendance at games as well, as the Cardinals drew more than 1,000 fans to James E. O'Neill Jr. Arena three times, including a school record 1,832 against Northwood University.
In 2012-13 he helped lead the Cardinals to a near-GLIAC Tournament appearance in his first season on the bench. Senior guard Chris Webb was selected to the All-GLIAC First Team and All-Defensive team, while senior Brett Beland was named to the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Collegiate Academic-Athletic Team.
Before joining Coach Baruth's staff in 2012, he served as an assistant coach at The University of Findlay for two seasons. His primary responsibilities included managing the day-to-day operations of the team, film exchange, off campus recruiting, scouting, game preparation, and working with the guards. He also served as the head coach for the junior varsity team.
Prior to Findlay, Nwachukwu spent four years as a student manager for the University of Michigan men's basketball program. While an undergraduate, he also coached at his alma mater, Father Gabriel Richard, serving as an assistant coach for one year and the head freshmen coach for three years. While there he won three sectional titles and one district title.
In addition to his work at Michigan and Gabriel Richard, Nwachukwu also served as an AAU coach for the Common Bond Basketball Club in the spring. In the summer, he has worked as a camp counselor at Michigan, Notre Dame, Oakland and Georgetown.
A native of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Nwachukwu graduated from Father Gabriel Richard High School in 2006. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in economics and has also earned his master's degree in business administration.
Graduate Manager / Video Analyst
Erik Schmidt has been added as Graduate Manager and Video Analyst to the Milwaukee men's basketball staff.
"I am happy to add Erik to our team," head coach LaVall Jordan said. "He has a relentless work ethic and is a true student of the game. Erik's energy is infectious and his work in the film room will help our team greatly. He has a bright future in college basketball."
Schmidt is very familiar with Coach Jordan, having spent last two seasons as the Graduate Intern for the University of Michigan men's basketball program.
While at Michigan, he broke down film of future opponents, assisted with workouts and also assisted coaches with practices.
Schmidt already has a diverse background in basketball, including serving as the head coach at MacDonald Middle School where he posted a 20-2 record over two seasons. He was the Assistant Camp Coordinator for the John Beiliein Basketball Camps as well as the Camp Director for the East Lansing "Play Like a Champion" Basketball Clinic.
Schmidt graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2012 as well as a Master of Arts in Sports Management earlier in 2016.