Valparaiso University Basketball Camps
Assistant CoachRoger Powell Jr.
Former University of Illinois standout Roger Powell Jr. is entering his fifth season as an assistant coach for the Valparaiso men’s basketball program in 2015-2016. Powell was named the top assistant coach in the Horizon League by Next Up Recruits in the summer of 2013.
Powell has helped lead the Crusaders to 92 wins over his first four seasons as a member of the Crusader coaching staff, including a school-record 28 victories in 2014-2015. Valpo captured the Horizon League regular season title in three of his first four seasons, while the Crusaders' 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 squads also won the Horizon League tournament championship. The Crusaders have appeared in the postseason in each of Powell's four seasons on staff, making two trips to the NCAA Tournament and one apiece to the Postseason NIT and the CIT.
With the Crusaders, Powell works with both the post and perimeter players in skill development. He also is heavily involved with the Crusaders’ recruiting efforts. In the summer of 2013, Powell served as head coach of an Athletes in Action team which toured Lithuania, and in the summer of 2015, he led an AIA team as head coach on a tour of Poland.
A three-year starter for the Ilini, Powell earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten recognition in each of his final two seasons after being named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team as a sophomore. Powell helped Illinois to three Big Ten regular season titles and a pair of Big Ten tournament championships during his time with the Ilini, as well as berths in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004.
Powell’s career at Illinois culminated in his senior year of 2004-2005, as he started all 39 games that season for the Ilini, averaging career bests of 12.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Powell helped Illinois to the most successful season in program history, as the Ilini won 29 straight games to open the season en route to finishing 37-2, spent most of the season ranked #1 in the nation and advanced to the national championship game of the NCAA Tournament. Powell closed his four-year Illinois career with 1,178 points, among the top-30 scorers in Ilini history, and 531 rebounds.
Following his collegiate career, Powell earned a spot in the Seattle SuperSonics training camp before eventually playing the 2005-2006 season for the Rockford Lightning of the CBA, where he earned CBA Rookie of the Year accolades. He then made the roster of the Utah Jazz for the 2006-2007 NBA season and spent the first half of the season with the Jazz before joining the Arkansas Rimrockers of the NBDL. Powell concluded the 2007 season with the Rimrockers, leading the NBDL with 22.3 points per game and earning the league’s Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award, which is awarded to the player who best represents the ideals of character and conduct on and off the court.
Powell spent time in the training camp of the Chicago Bulls in both 2008 and 2010, and has spent much of the last four years playing internationally. He has played in the top leagues in Italy (Teramo Basket), Israel (Hapoel Jerusalem), Spain (CB Murcia) and France (JDA Dijon). Most recently, Powell played for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners of the Basketball Bundesliga in Germany, where he helped the Skyliners to a second-place regular season finish and a berth in the league semifinals.
Off the court, Powell founded RPJ Ministries Organization, which mentors and trains young leaders to be Godly examples on their sports team and school campuses. He also founded Integrity Sports Corporation, a company focused on building basketball skills and integrity of high school and junior high athletes. A 2005 graduate of the University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign with a degree in speech communications, Powell and his wife, Tara, have a daughter, Bria, and a son, Liam.
Luke Gore enters the 2015-2016 season in his 14th year with the Valpo basketball program. Gore has helped guide the Crusaders to five consecutive postseason berths over the last five seasons.
In his current role, Gore works with player development, with an emphasis on post play. Over his first 13 years, Gore has guided 10 all-conference post players and 11 post players who have gone on to professional basketball careers overseas. Gore also works as director of Valpo’s summer basketball camps and is responsible for overseeing academics, as well as future game scheduling.
Gore has helped to sign recruiting classes ranked as high as 27th in the nation during his tenure with the Crusaders. He also helped signed the top incoming class in the Horizon League entering the 2009-2010 season according to The Sporting News.
In his 13 years with the Crusaders, Valpo has made eight postseason trips, including three NCAA Tournament appearances and a pair of Postseason NIT bids. Over his tenure, the Crusaders have won 249 games, captured five league regular season titles, and won one Mid-Con and two Horizon League tournament titles. The last five years have seen Valpo claim five postseason berths, highlighted by a school record 28-win season and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014-2015.
During the summer of 2008, Gore served as head coach for an Athletes in Action squad that traveled to West Africa. The team went 5-0 in games against African national teams, and spent time visiting orphanages and conducting coaching clinics throughout Mali and Senegal.
A starting forward at NAIA Bethel College in McKenzie, Tenn., from 1998 to 2001, Gore earned Academic All-America honors as a senior. He helped Bethel to the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title during the 1998-’99 season after transferring from Cumberland [Tenn.] University where he played his freshman year.
Gore graduated from Bethel in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and received a Masters of Arts in sports administration from Valpo in August of 2006. Born in Oak Park, Ill., Gore was raised in Paris, Tenn.
Luke and his wife Cheryl reside in Valparaiso with their son, Bartholomew, and daughter, Christine.
Matt Lottich joined the Valparaiso men's basketball coaching staff as an assistant coach in the summer of 2013, and is entering his third season in 2015-16.
During his first two seasons on the Crusader bench, Lottich has helped lead Valpo to 46 victories, highlighted by a school-record 28 wins in 2014-15. The Crusaders have gone to the postseason in each of Lottich's two years at Valpo, including an NCAA Tournament appearance last season after capturing the Horizon League regular season and tournament titles. In his two years, Valpo has boasted a pair of First Team All-Horizon League honorees and three Horizon League All-Freshman Team recipients.
Lottich played professionally most recently in Japan in the bj League, spending eight years in Japan in two separate stints. Lottich suited up for the Oita Heat Devils from 2009 through 2012, serving as team captain all four years and earned league All-Star recognition in 2011. He also helped Osaka Evessa to three league championships in a four-year period from 2005 through 2008, three times earning All-Star honors en route to titles.
Lottich also played in the Bundesliga for the Dusseldorf Giants during the 2008-2009 campaign. Prior to his start in the bj League, Lottich spent the summer of 2004 with the New Jersey Nets' summer league squad, and then played in New Zealand for the Harbor Heat of the NBL.
Off the court, Lottich comes to Valpo from the National Collegiate Scouting Association, where he started in January of 2013. Lottich ascended to the position of Head Scout during his time with the NCSA, which helps high school athletes navigate the world of college recruiting. Lottich also co-founded the TEAM Life Skills basketball camp in 2004 and has helped manage and develop the camp over the last nine years.
Lottich played collegiately at Stanford University, where he was named to the Wooden Award midseason candidates list as a senior in 2004. Lottich would go on to be named an NABC All-Star, awarded to the top-15 college basketball seniors, as he helped guide Stanford to the Pac-10 title.
Lottich earned Honorable Mention All Pac-10 accolades as a senior and earned a spot on the conference's All-Tournament Team. Lottich, who totaled 891 points for the Cardinals over his four-year career, also was a part of their conference championship squad in 2000-2001 as a freshman. He ranks among Stanford's single-season and career best in 3-pointers made as well.
Prior to his collegiate career, he played his prep basketball at New Trier [Ill.] H.S., where he became and still remains the program's all-time leading scorer. Lottich was named the 2000 Chicago Tribune Athlete of the Year as well following his senior season.
Lottich and his wife, Kylan have four children: Grace, Matthan, Christian and Landon.
Director of Basketball Operations
Luke Simons joined the Crusader men's basketball program as its director of basketball operations prior to the 2015-16 season.
Simons comes to Valpo with nearly a decade of experience working with Athletes in Action as an international team director and coach, as well as a regional coordinator. In his time with AIA, Simons helped assemble and direct multiple international competitive tours throughout Europe and Asia, including tours which current Crusader Vashil Fernandez and former Crusader Bobby Capobianco were part of. He also created Captains Camp, an AIA leadership initiative to serve influencers in basketball which current Crusaders Alec Peters and Keith Carter attended last summer.
Outside of AIA, Simons served as director of operations for Team USA at the last three World University Games and helped found the International Basketball Coaches Experience, held annually at the NCAA Final Four. He also brings a good deal of coaching experience with him, having worked as an assistant coach and director of player development for the Mongolian national team – which he helped lead to the final round of 2015 Asian Games – since 2012. Simons also previously spent one season as interim head coach at Black Hawk College and five years as an assistant coach at West Lafayette H.S.
Simons earned a bachelor's degree in movement and sports science from Purdue University.