MUNCIE, Ind. – Michael Lewis is officially back home again in Indiana.
Ball State introduced the Jasper native and former Indiana University standout as its new men’s head basketball coach Wednesday morning at the school’s practice facility.
“I have a burning desire to be successful,” Lewis said. “This job is very personal to me, because I’m in Indiana. To lead a program in the state where you grew up, where basketball means so much, is something I’m very proud of.”
Lewis was a 1996 Indiana All-Star at Jasper High School, before playing four years for Bob Knight at Indiana. He left school as the Hoosiers’ all-time assists leader.
He played two years of professional basketball before beginning his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Knight at Texas Tech.
Lewis then had stops as an assistant at Stephen F. Austin, Eastern Illinois, Butler, Nebraska and most recently UCLA, where he helped lead the Bruins to the Final Four in 2021.
“I’m here to prepare young men to be successful,” said Lewis. “As we build this program, I want to instill my personality into this current team and then we’re going to recruit student-athletes that are going to represent this university the right way.”
“If you love basketball, you’re tough and you love to compete, you belong at Ball State.”
The Cardinals haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2000, so fans may be running out of patience with the program, but Lewis says that okay with him.
“That’s my biggest weakness. You can ask my family,” Lewis joked. “I’m not real patient and I didn’t come here to be patient. Being patient is a slap in the face to the players. Like, ‘hey, I want to win in four years.’ Well, what about them?
“They’re here for a reason. They’ve committed to stay here and try to chase championships and their dreams. They believe I can help them do that. No, I don’t have time for patience.”