Sept. 3, 2009
EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. - Matt Laur has joined the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men's basketball program as an assistant coach, announced head coach Lennox Forrester.
"With the experience Matt brings to our program, he will be a tremendous asset to Cougar basketball," Forrester said. "We are fortunate to have Matt as an addition to our coaching staff. He knows what it takes to compete at a high level."
Laur comes to SIUE as the Cougars begin year two of their transition to NCAA Division I status. He most recently was the Director of Basketball Operations at Ball State University, responsible for planning practice, travel planning, film exchange and breakdown, summer camp preparation, and academic mentoring. He was part of Ball State's Mid-American Conference West Division Championship and helped the Cardinals to a 14-17 record, as well as a MAC tournament semifinal finish. Laur also mentored 2008-2009 MAC Freshman of the Year Jarrod Jones.
"He has been a positive influence on players he has coached in the past, encouraging them to work hard and helping them learn what it takes to be successful in the classroom," Forrester said.
Laur served as an assistant coach at Missouri Southern State in 2007-2008. While there, he was responsible for recruiting, scouting, practice planning, travel arrangements, and fund-raising. He helped coach the Lions to a 17-11 record and a third-place finish in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.
Laur spent three years as the head coach for the Steeleville High School basketball team. In 2004-2005 he led the Warriors to the most wins in school history when Steeleville finished with a 28-7 record and won a regional championship.
Laur played for McKendree University from 1999-2003 where he was a four-time NAIA All-American. He was named the NAIA Division I Player of the Year and received Academic-All American Midwest Conference honors his senior season. Laur was a two-time AMC Player of the Year (2001 and 2003) and an AMC Freshman of the Year winner. Laur became the all-time record leader with 2,874 career points and is ranked among the Bearcats' best in blocked shots and rebounds. He scored in double figures for 74 consecutive games and set single-season school records for field goals made (393) and points scored (891).
Laur earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from McKendree in 2003. After graduation, Matt played professionally in Europe for Geoplin Slocan before playing for the Columbus River Dragons of the National Basketball Developmental League.
"My family is from here, and I am glad to be a part of this program as we continue to build and look for great things to happen." Laur said. "I am excited to get started and help with a program which is run so well."
"I am thrilled to have Matt's experience and ties to the region," said SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt. "His references cited his skills as a recruiter and his strong commitment to the academics of his student-athletes."