HEAD COACH TODD LEE
University of South Dakota alum Todd Lee, who has garnered a national title and multiple championships throughout a prestigious coaching career, returned to Vermillion to lead the Coyotes’ men’s basketball program beginning with the 2018-19 season.
A native of Huron, South Dakota, Lee graduated from South Dakota in 1986 with a degree in business administration. He received his master’s degree in education from Azusa Pacific in 2003.
Lee spent the past five seasons as the associate head coach at Grand Canyon University, helping the Lopes to a 103-58 record. He served under former NBA All-Star Dan Majerle, and accumulated 81 wins during the four-year transition to Division I, beginning in Lee’s first year with GCU. The number of wins are the most by any program that has made the leap into Division I.
Majerle has stated several times that one of the smartest things he did as a head coach was hire Lee as his associate head coach. Lee prepared for each game as if he were the head coach with Majerle giving him complete control of the defense.
Grand Canyon totaled 22 wins in 2017-18, the third-straight year with 22 wins or more, and advanced to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championship game. The Lopes finished in the top three of the WAC in all five seasons with Lee and made four consecutive postseason appearances.
In his five years at GCU, Lee mentored five first team all-WAC selections, four second team honorees, four all-defensive team selections and a WAC Freshman of the Year. Additionally, Josh Braun, a three-time all-conference honoree, was a three-time Academic All-American, including two first-team nods.
Prior to his time at Grand Canyon, Lee compiled a 154-81 record and competed in five-consecutive NCAA tournaments in eight seasons as the head coach at Kentucky Wesleyan. Highlighting his run was a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2012, a No. 1 national ranking, ending the season ranked in the top-25 on four occasions and 14-0 starts in consecutive seasons. Over his final six seasons, the Panthers averaged 22 wins and had a .736 win percentage (134-48).
Lee coached five first-team all-GLVC selections and 14 total all-conference performers including Jeff Fahnbulleh, the 2007-08 GLVC Player of the Year. Lee was named the GLVC Coach of the Year in 2008, the NABC Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 2010 and a finalist for the prestigious Clarence ‘Big House’ Gaines Division II National Coach of the Year in 2012.
He collected his 100th-career victory when the Panthers defeated host Wisconsin-Parkside 81-73 in overtime on Jan. 2, 2011.
Lee owns a coaching career that spans 16 years at the Division I level, 11 at Davison II, two in the pros and two at the junior college level.
He spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at UC-Irvine with the final four as associate head coach under Pat Douglass. The Anteaters claimed a pair of Big West Conference Championships and captured three-straight 20 win seasons for the first time program history.
UC-Irvine also played in the National Invitation Tournament in 2001 and 2002.
Lee and Douglas went to Irvine after three years at CSU-Bakersfield, compiling a 75-16 record and capturing the 1997 NCAA Division II National Championship. In all three years, the Roadrunners advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Lee spent two years as an assistant coach for the Rapid City Thrillers of the CBA under current Nevada head coach, and former head coach of the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors, Eric Musselman. While with the Thrillers, Lee organized and coached the first CBA or NBA professional basketball team to tour China and compete against the Chinese National Army, posting a 5-0 record in 1992.
Prior to his return trip to his home state, Lee was an assistant coach at the University of San Diego from 1989-1992 under Hank Egan, a legend in the coaching community. Egan, who gave Gregg Popovich his first coaching job as an assistant at the Air Force Academy, went on to be an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Egan’s coaching tree not only includes Lee, but also current Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown, David Fizdale, the head coach of the New York Knicks, Randy Bennett, the head coach of the Saint Mary's Gaels and Neal Meyer, the Associate Vice President of Basketball Operations – EMEA for the NBA and former assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers, along with Musselman, who just led the Nevada Wolfpack into the Sweet 16 of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Lee began his coach career as an assistant at Southwestern College in 1987.
He and his wife, Kim, have three sons, Carson, Jackson and Peyton.