Roosevelt Lakers
Men's Basketball
Record: 16-16 Home: 8-9 Away: 7-6 Neutral: 1-1 CCAC: 6-13
2013-14 Men's Basketball Coaches
Joe Griffin Image
Joe Griffin
Head Coach - 4th Season
Alma Mater:
Phone: 312-341-6737
Alma Mater: Michigan State (B.A., 2003); Wayne State (M.A., 2005); Michigan State (M.S., 2008)

 

Roosevelt University Head Men's Basketball Coach Joe Griffin enters his fourth season at the helm of the Lakers, continuing to reconstruct a program that was dormant for 21 years. Named the fourth head coach in school history on August 17, 2009, Griffin has quickly backed up his reputation as a tireless recruiter and dedicated instructor and in-game tactician.

 

In less than 12 months Griffin built a squad that took to the hardwood for the first time since 1989 and quickly proved they belonged. Just 10 games into the 2010-11 campaign, the Lakers recorded a signature win with an 89-78 triumph over defending Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Champion Saint Xavier. Griffin's coaching acumen was evident in the development of his student-athletes over the course of the year, including junior guard Paul Tometich, who blossomed into one of the league's top players. Under Griffin's tutelage, Tometich led the CCAC in scoring at 21.4 points per game, while also ranking in the top 10 in rebounding and assists en route to All-League honors.

 

The 2011-12 season was a great success for the Lakers in only their second season of play, going 9-20 overall, good for a 5-win improvement. The Lakers finished second in the conference in Opponent 3-pt FG% and second overall in offensive rebounding, confirming their style as aggressive and always on the attack. Roosevelt also finished third in the conference in steals and in defensive rebounding percentage. The Lakers were lead by seniors Paul and Mark Tometich, with Paul earning 2nd-team All-CCAC and Mark earning Honorable Mention All-CCAC. They were joined in recognition by junior Brandyn Denson, who was voted 2nd-team All-CCAC as well. The Lakers recorded signature wins at home over Ashford and conference rival St. Francis, while playing an ultra-competitive schedule, including three NCAA Division I exhibitions.

 

2013-13 was a huge step forward for Griffin's third-year program. Led by All-CCAC Honorable Mention sophomores in point guard Tyree York and forward Jeremiah Jackson to go with Denson's leadership and sophomore Joe Harks' team-leading scoring output, the Lakers won a modern-era-best 15 games, marking the first time the team registered double-digit wins. Roosevelt posted more victories in 2012-13 than the previous two seasons combined, with the Lakers continuing their upward trend by increasing their wins and winning percentage for a third consecutive year. 

 

Under Griffin's leadership, Roosevelt men's basketball has been predicated on hard work and success in various facets. Defense. Rebounding. Academics, as proven by his team's Spring 2013 3.04 grade point average. A complete and well-rounded student-athlete experience. 

 

With a true home-court advantage for a full season for the first time in school history, thanks to the opening of the Lillian and Larry Goodman Center in December 2012, and another year of putting the pieces together for a young program, Griffin has Roosevelt primed for another big leap forward in 2013-14 and beyond.   

 

Griffin joined Roosevelt after spending the 2008-09 season as an assistant at NCAA Division II Eastern New Mexico University. The 32-year old Michigan native learned his trade, though, under the tutelage of Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo, serving for two seasons (2006-08) as a graduate assistant coach for the Spartans.

 

At Michigan State, Griffin played pivotal roles for the Spartans in the areas of player development, strength and conditioning, opponent and self-scouting, travel, film exchange and recruiting. In his two seasons with the Spartans, Griffin aided Michigan State to 50 wins and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the ‘Sweet 16' in 2008.

 

Griffin's coaching philosophy, which emphasizes defense and rebounding, was reflected in the Spartans' play during his tenure. The squad led the Big Ten in rebounding margin and was amongst the nation's leaders in field goal percentage defense each year. Griffin helped in the development of many former and current Michigan State standouts during his tenure, including NBA Draft pick Goran Suton (2009 All-Big Ten), Travis Walton (2009 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year), Raymar Morgan (2008 All-Big Ten), Drew Neitzel (2008 All-Big Ten, All-America Second Team), and Kalin Lucas (2009 Big Ten Player of the Year).  

 

Griffin obtained his second graduate degree in 2008, a Master of Science in Coaching at Michigan State. He was also a guest instructor within the Kinesiology department of the College of Education and a featured speaker at the 2008 Spartan Strength & Conditioning Clinic.

 

Following his two years at Michigan State, Griffin headed to the southwest to take on assistant coaching duties at Eastern New Mexico University. During his short tenure, Griffin established strong recruiting ties in the state of Texas, and in the southwest, broadening his recruiting horizons.

 

Griffin was born in Flint and later graduated from Romeo High School in Romeo, Mich. Griffin went on to play two seasons at St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, Mich., before heading to Michigan State, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising in 2003.

 

Griffin's next stop was graduate school at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich, earning a Master of Arts in Sports Administration and taking his first coaching job, leading the freshman team and assisting the varsity team at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills, Mich., during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

 

Griffin headed to Jacksonville, Fla., for one year as assistant varsity boy's basketball coach and English teacher at Sandalwood High School before returning to his home state to take the graduate assistant position for Coach Izzo.

 

Griffin is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) as well as the Illinois Basketball Coaches Assocation (IBCA) and has worked and been involved with numerous basketball camps and clinics throughout the country. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in Oak Park.  The couple has one son, Jackson Joseph, and a daughter, Colleen.

   

 
Aaron Rolle Image
Aaron Rolle
Assistant Coach - 3rd Season
Alma Mater:
Phone: 312-341-6757
Aaron Rolle enters his third season as an assistant coach for the Roosevelt men's basketball team and his first full year as the program's top assistant. 
 

Rolle seamlessly transitioned into a greater role with the Lakers in the middle of the 2012-13 season, when former top assistant Kevin Devitt earned an opportunity to join the staff of NCAA Division I program UAB. Rolle proved to be a steady source of leadership for head coach Joe Griffin during a season in which Roosevelt won more games than the previous two seasons combined. 

 

"Aaron really stepped up for us as an assistant last year when Coach Devitt left in midseason for UAB," said Griffin. "Aaron has made great strides in his two years as an assistant, and we are confident that he will continue to grow and progress in this, his third year. Aaron’s strongest attributes are in his ability to relate to our players, recruits, and all stakeholders in our program.

 

"Aaron is a natural teacher and a great role model for our guys.”  

 

Prior to joining Griffin's staff in 2011-12, Rolle served as an assistant coach at Sterling High School in Sterling, Ill. during the 2010-11 season. He was the head freshman and varsity assistant coach for Dixon High School for the 2008-09 campaign.

 

Rolle graduated from DePaul University in 2008 and has worked numerous camps and clinics, including the Reebok Headliner Camp, since leaving Lincoln Park. He recently worked at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois as a Residential Treatment Specialist before becoming a full-time assistant coach at Roosevelt. 
 
 
In addition to his coaching duties, Rolle also directs Roosevelt's intramural and recreational programming at the Chicago campus. 

 

Rolle is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Asssociation (IBCA). He lives in Chicago.

   

 
Brandyn Denson Image
Brandyn Denson
Student Assistant - 1st Season
Alma Mater:
 
Curtis O'Dwyer Image
Curtis O'Dwyer
Student Assistant - 1st Season
Alma Mater:
 
Jordan Piercefield Image
Jordan Piercefield
Manager - 4th Season
Alma Mater:
 
Dylan Slager Image
Dylan Slager
Manager - 1st Season
Alma Mater: