Roosevelt Lakers
Men's Basketball
Record: 12-17 Home: 9-6 Away: 3-9 Neutral: 0-2 CCAC: 8-12
2016-17 Men's Basketball Coaches
Joe Griffin Image

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 seventh season at the helm of the Lakers, positioning his team for its best season yet in 2016-17 as he continues his reconstruction efforts in a program that was dormant for 21 years.

Named the fourth head coach in school history on August 17, 2009 and the first since the Roosevelt University Athletic Department was restarted that year, Griffin has quickly cemented his reputation as a tireless recruiter, dedicated instructor and razor-sharp in-game tactician.

Under Griffin's leadership, Roosevelt men's basketball has been predicated on hustle and success in various facets on and off the court. Defense. Rebounding. Academics, as proven by his team's last two spring semesters of combined GPAs of 3.0 or better. Graduation. Pathways to employment. A complete and well-rounded student-athlete experience. 

In addition to promoting commitment to basketball and academics, Griffin is a major proponent of giving back to the community. He has engaged his team in numerous volunteering and community service efforts, including a basketball clinic in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood as part of a partnership with the Chicago Police Department that earned recognition from the CPD and the 7th District Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (C.A.P.S.) Office and annual participation in Coaches vs. Cancer activities. His emphasis on camaraderie has been shown with his team’s presence at various Roosevelt athletic and campus events to support fellow Lakers and campus units.  

Griffin joined Roosevelt after spending the 2008-09 season as an assistant at NCAA Division II Eastern New Mexico University. The 36-year old Michigan native learned his trade, though, under the tutelage of  Michigan State Head Coach and recent Hall of Fame inductee Tom Izzo, serving for two seasons (2006-08) as a graduate assistant coach for the Spartans. Griffin's coaching philosophy, which emphasizes defense and rebounding, and a faced paced offence was reflected in the Spartans' play during his tenure. 

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 obtained his second graduate degree in 2008, a Master of Science in Coaching at Michigan State.

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 is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) as well as the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) and has worked and been involved with numerous basketball camps and clinics throughout the country. He is also the 2015-16 CCAC men’s basketball sport chair, entering his third year in that leadership role for the conference, acting as a liaison between coaches, the executive committee, and the NAIA. 

He and his wife, Suzanne, live in Oak Park, Ill.  The couple has one son, Jackson Joseph, and a daughter, Colleen.

Aaron Rolle Image
Aaron Rolle
Associate Head Coach - 6th Season

Aaron Rolle enters his fifth season as an assistant coach for the Roosevelt men's basketball team and his second full year as the program's top assistant to head coach Joe Griffin. 

After serving as a volunteer assistant since the 2011-12 campaign, Rolle seamlessly transitioned into a greater role with the Lakers in the middle of the 2012-13 season after former top assistant Kevin Devitt earned an opportunity to join the staff of NCAA Division I program UAB, which led to Devitt's current assistant coaching position at Wright State. Rolle proved to be a steady source of leadership for Griffin during a season in which Roosevelt won more games than the previous two seasons combined. 

Rolle continued to make an impact on the program in his first full year as lead assistant coach. His coaching acumen helped propel the Lakers to a modern era school-best 16 wins and a first-ever trip to the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Final Four in 2013-14.

"Aaron is a natural teacher and a great role model for our guys,” said Griffin. “Aaron’s strongest attributes are in his ability to relate to our players, recruits, and all stakeholders in our program.” 

Rolle has helped position the Lakers for another step forward in 2015-16. He was the lead recruiter in landing Michigan-bred prep standout Kevin Day and has helped in the development of the Lakers’ returning corps of veteran contributors with skill sessions, weight training, and other facets that have improved his team’s student-athletes and, as a result, the Lakers’ chances of improving off of last season’s success.    

Prior to joining Griffin's staff in 2011-12, Rolle served as an assistant coach at Sterling High School in his hometown of 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 and has increased the University’s intramural offerings with 5-on-5 basketball leagues, special recreational events and a partnership with Columbia College Chicago that involves cross-promotional events and classes at both campuses and across the Chicago area.

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