Former Penn basketball star Michael-Hakim Jordan has been named the 19th coach of Lafayette men’s basketball.
Jordan played for the Quakers from 1996-2000, a fruitful time for the team in large part due to his contributions. He suited up in 109 games for the Quakers, averaging 14.7 points per game to go along with three Ivy titles and an Ivy League Player of the Year Award.
Since then, Jordan has been an assistant coach at Colgate for the last 10 years, save for a one-year stint at Drexel during the 2020-21 season in which the Dragons reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 25 years. With the Raiders, under former Penn teammate Matt Langel, Jordan helped lead the team to an unprecedented run, including an appearance in the March Madness tournament this year.
Fresh off the success, Jordan will be tasked with with leading a team as head coach for the first time in his career, becoming the third former Quaker to head up a Division I team, joining Langel and Iowa coach Fran McCaffery. Jordan has big shoes to fill, as he is replacing Fran O’Hanlon, who had been at the helm for 27 years, winning three Patriot League titles.
Nonetheless, the Leopards have expressed confidence in Jordan’s ability to step up to the job.
“After conducting a national search we are excited to welcome Mike to the Leopard family,” Sherryta Freeman, Lafayette’s athletic director, said in a press release. ”It was important to find a partner who was committed to driving our men’s basketball program to Patriot League success while embracing the Lafayette community and the amazing things we can do to elevate the college. Mike is a tremendous recruiter, a high energy motivator and has been a winner at every stop. He cares about his players and is committed to their growth and development into champions.”
Jordan’s ascent to the role also ensures that once again, the coach of Lafayette will have strong Philadelphia and Penn ties. O’Hanlon played in college for Villanova, was drafted by the 76ers, and was an assistant coach at Penn.
Lafayette will be thankful not only for Jordan’s experience in the Ivy League, but also the Patriot League, as that is where the Raiders play as well.
Jordan also brings with him professional playing experience, having played in Europe for several years after spending a summer with the 76ers. Jordan is a member of the Big 5 Hall of Fame and is set to be enshrined into the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame next month.
”I am extremely excited and thankful to President [Nicole] Hurd and Director of Athletics Sherryta Freeman for blessing me with the opportunity to be a part of the Lafayette family as its new men’s basketball coach,” Jordan said in Lafayette’s press statement. “I look forward to strengthening and building relationships with the players, fellow staff and the Lafayette community as we embark on this championship journey together.”