Small's Big Decision
Part I: Inside the thinking behind moving on from Valparaiso's Matt Lottich
When Charles Small was first hired as Valparaiso’s athletic director last May, he sat down with The Victory Bell for an in-depth interview where he set forth his vision for a successful department. In that interview, Small expressed how he would evaluate the performance of the coaches who were now working under him.
“We’ll have a formal evaluation process,” Small said in that interview. “I need to understand the culture they’re building. How do they recruit, retain and develop? I need to buy into the plan. That’s the starting point for me. We need to have healthy programs. My evaluation is: ‘how are you building the program and can I buy into the direction that we’re going in?’”
Small spent the next 10 months evaluating the Valparaiso men’s basketball program. He was present at most, if not all, games at the Athletics-Recreation Center, as well as a chunk of road games. Small observed from the stands, sat in the back of every press conference and would often have postgame conversations with Matt Lottich. He was ever present, knowing that the day would come that his evaluation process would have to turn into a decision on the future of the men’s basketball program.
Small made that decision this week when he announced on Thursday that Lottich was being let go after seven years at the head of the program. Small will now begin a process that will result in the most important hire of his tenure at Valparaiso.
This is the first of a two-part look into the decision that Small made this week and the hire that he will make in the coming weeks. The second part will be released on Sunday.