Todd Lee named director of scouting/assistant head coach

FAYETTEVILLE- University of Arkansas basketball head coach Eric Musselman has named former University of South Dakota basketball head coach Todd Lee director of scouting and assistant from the head coach of the Razorbacks.

Lee and Musselman have a relationship that has lasted over 30 years. Lee was on Musselman’s staff with the Rapid City Thrillers from 1992-94 after serving three years (1989-92) as an assistant coach under legendary University of San Diego head coach Hank Egan. who was Musselman’s coach with the Toreros. Additionally, Lee coached 2021-22 Razorback Stanley Umude to three All-Summit League honors while playing at South Dakota.

In addition to his ties to Musselman, Lee has ties to northwest Arkansas as his parents – MO and Wanda – lived in Bentonville for over 20 years after his father retired.

“Todd is exceptionally detailed and precise,” Musselman said. “He’s a veteran coach and he’s here to serve as extra eyes. He’ll bring new ideas to the staff on how to look at things, how to plot on both sides of the pitch and how to attack things. That’s always been a collective agreement for our teams. We are always looking for ideas and input, this is why and how our staff was put together. One of the things about being a former head coach is that , when you’re not a head coach, you know what it takes to be a great assistant and Todd Lee will be perfect for that.

Lee, a two-time Conference Coach of the Year and a finalist for National Coach of the Year, spent four seasons as head coach at the University of South Dakota and has 12 years of coaching experience. collegiate head coach to his credit. He was 66-52 at South Dakota (2018-22) and 154-81 in eight years at Kentucky Wesleyan (2005-13). Lee also served as an assistant coach at Southwestern CC (1986-89), Cal State Bakersfield (1994-97), UC Irvine (1997-2005) and Grand Canyon (2013-18).

Lee led South Dakota to a 19-12 record in 2021-22, including a 12-5 mark after a two-week hiatus from the program due to COVID, while reaching the Summit semifinals League. Mason Archambault and Kruz Perrott-Hunt were named All-Summit League Second Team while Tasos Kamateros received honorable mentions and Boogie Anderson was voted to the league All-Defensive First Team.

In his third season at USD (20020-21), Lee guided a trio of Coyotes to All-Summit League honors with Umude (1st), AJ Plitzuweit (1st) and Xavier Fuller (HM). Lee also won the 2021 Summit League Coach of the Year honors while Plitzuweit won the Newcomer of the Year award as well as a spot on the All-Newcomer team. The Coyotes started conference play 9-0 for the first time since the 1992-93 season and went 10 in a row for their longest streak since the 2009-10 campaign. Lee’s team also eliminated South Dakota State at Frost Arena for the first time since the 1999-00 season, ending SDSU’s 32-game home game winning streak.

The Coyotes finished the season ranked eighth in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage, 14th in the nation in free throw percentage, and 15th in the nation in turnover percentage. In the Summit League, the Yotes ranked first in free throw percentage and defensive field goal percentage.

Individually, Umude earned NABC All-District Second Team honors and finished the season as the nation’s 10th leading scorer and fifth in field goals. He’s the only Coyote since the program went to Division I in 2008 to score more than 21 points per game. He finished his career 11th in program history in points.

In year two, he guided Tyler Hagedorn to first-team All-Summit League honors after finishing a redshirt season. Hagedorn also earned NABC All-District 12 first-team honors and was twice Summit League Player of the Month and twice Summit League Player of the Week. Umude earned second-team All-Summit League honors. Umude also became the first Coyote to win pre-season Summit League Player of the Year honors.

As a team, the Coyotes recorded 20 wins in the 2019-20 season and had an eight-game winning streak overall as well as a seven-game conference winning streak, the longest such streaks since joining the Summit League. The Yotes finished as one of 11 teams in the nation that had five starters average 10 or more points on the season. Additionally, SHU finished the season ranked sixth in the nation in FG percentage and 3-point percentage while ranking fourth in the nation with 1.021 points per possession on the season.

In his first year in charge of USD, he guided Umude to All-Summit League first-team honors after increasing his points per game by 13.3 points in his debut campaign to 14, 4 points per contest. That number led the nation for all sophomores during their rookie season. Senior Trey Burch-Manning and junior Triston Simpson each earned honorable mention on the Summit League teams, while junior Cody Kelley earned rookie team honors. As a team, Lee’s defense led the Summit League in the fewest points allowed per game at just 71.2 while the Yotes ranked sixth in the nation in the fewest turnovers.

Prior to South Dakota, Lee spent five seasons as an associate head coach at Grand Canyon University, helping the Antelopes to a 103-58 record. He served under former NBA All-Star Dan Majerle and the program racked up 81 wins during the four-year transition to Division I, starting Lee’s freshman year with GCU. The number of wins is the highest of any program that made the jump to Division I.

In his final season at the Grand Canyon (2017-18), the ‘Lopes totaled 22 wins for the third straight year and advanced to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championship game. GCU finished in the WAC’s top three in all five seasons with Lee and made four straight playoff appearances.

During his five years at GCU, Lee mentored five All-WAC First-Team selections, four Second-Team winners, four All-Defensive Team selections and a WAC Freshman of the Year. Additionally, three-time All-Conference winner Josh Braun was a three-time Academic All-American, including two first-team nods.

Lee came to the Grand Canyon after eight seasons at the Kentucky Wesleyan. After returning to a program with limited scholarships due to NCAA sanctions, Lee won just 20 in his first two seasons with the Panthers. However, he went 24-8 in the third year and made the first of five straight NCAA Division II Tournament appearances. The highlight was the 2012 campaign when Lee led Kentucky Wesleyan to a trip to the Sweet 16 and a No. 1 national ranking during the year. The program has finished the season in the top 25 four times, and the Panthers have averaged 22 wins over Lee’s last six seasons with a .736 winning percentage (134-48).

Lee has coached five All-Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) first-team selections and 14 performers from all conferences, including Jeff Fahnbulleh, the 2007-08 GLVC Player of the Year. Lee was named the 2008 GLVC Coach of the Year in 2008Midwest Region NABC 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 spent eight seasons (1887-05) as an assistant coach at UC-Irvine with the last four as associate head coach under Pat Douglass. The Anteaters have won two Big West Conference championships and won three consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in program history.

UC-Irvine also played in the National Invitational Tournament in 2001 and 2002.

Lee also served as an assistant under Douglass for three years at CSU-Bakersfield, compiling a 75-16 record and winning the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1997. Over the three years (1994-97), the Roadrunners qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

Lee spent two years (1992-94) as an assistant coach for the CBA’s Rapid City Thrillers under Musselman. While with the Thrillers, Lee organized and coached the first CBA or NBA professional basketball team to tour China and face the Chinese National Army, posting a record 5 -0 in 1992.

Lee’s coaching career began as an assistant at Southwestern College (1986-89) before being named assistant coach at the University of San Diego (1989-1992).

A native of Huron, South Dakota, Lee graduated from South Dakota in 1986 with a degree in business administration. He received his Masters in Education from Azusa Pacific in 2003. Lee has three sons, Carson, Jackson and Peyton.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT TODD LEE
Birth: February 20, 1964
Hometown: Huron, South Dakota
Alma Mater: South Dakota, 1986
Children: Carson, Jackson and Peyton
Education: South Dakota (1986 – Bachelor of Business Administration); Azusa Pacific (2003 – Masters in Education)

COACHING CAREER
1986–1989 Southwest CC (assistant coach)
1989–1992 San Diego (assistant coach)
1992–1994 Rapid City Thrillers (assistant coach)
1994–1997 Cal State Bakersfield (assistant coach)
1997–2005 UC Irvine (assistant coach)
2005–2013 Kentucky Wesleyan (head coach)
2013–2018 Grand Canyon (assistant coach)
2018-2022 South Dakota (Head Coach)
2022-pres. Arkansas (Director of Scouting and Assistant Head Coach)

About Paul Cox

Check Also

Lakers hire Hawks assistant Chris Jent to coaching staff

Getty Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. New Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham …