Lance is more than a recruiter. He's more than a guy who is out there talking about Saluki Basketball to recruits. He understands relationships. He's great with our players, after I get on them. He is able to reel them back in and get them to continue to do what we need them to do. He has an opportunity to really take off in this profession.
Lance Irvin recently completed his third season on Chris Lowery's staff at SIU.
On Feb. 16, he was presented the MVC's Most Courageous Award for demonstrating courage in the face of his leukemia diagnosis in May, 2010. After 40 days in the cancer wing of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Irvin was declared in remission.
After the 2008-09 season, Irvin was promoted from assistant to associate head coach. In the summer of 2009, Irvin was selected to participate in the Achieving Coaching Excellence program -- a prestigious four-day clinic sponsored by the Black Coaches Association and the NCAA - which preps the next generation of head coaches.
Irvin has worked with many big names and high-profile programs in college basketball -- Joey Meyer (DePaul, 1992-97), Larry Farmer (Loyola-Chicago, 1998-01), Larry Eustachy (Iowa State, 2001-02), Tom Richardson (Illinois State, 2002-03), Melvin Watkins (Texas A&M, 2003-04), Quin Snyder (Missouri, 2005-06) and Matt Doherty (SMU, 2006-08).
"He's recruited nationally in a lot of different circles, and he has a good grasp of the Chicago scene, which is obviously very important for us," Lowery said.
Irvin said he doesn't want to be known as just a recruiter, though.
"I've worked hard not to be labeled as a guy who just recruits," he said. "I can coach, too. I bring a little bit of everything to the table. I think I relate well to players. I try to be well-rounded."
Irvin started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Idaho in 1991-92. Along the way, he has helped several players reach the NBA, including Jackson Vroman (Iowa State), Paul McPherson (DePaul), and Antoine Wright and Acie Law (Texas A&M).
As a player, Irvin was an all-city, all-area and all-state selection and an honorable mention All-American as a senior at Chicago's Julian High School in 1987. Irvin played basketball at Colorado State before transferring to Idaho, where he played for Eustachy. Irvin received his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Idaho in 1992.
He comes from a basketball family. His brother, Byron, played college basketball at Missouri, after which he was selected in the 1989 NBA Draft with the 23rd pick by the Portland Trail Blazers. His father runs one of the premier AAU teams in Illinois -- the Mac Irvin Fire.