MARQUETTE - A former standout basketball player at L'Anse High School and Northern Michigan University has been named an assistant coach at a Division 1 women's progam in his native Indiana.
Kurt Godlevske has joined the staff at Butler University in Indianapolis after holding several high school coaching positions in the Upper Peninsula and Indiana.
"I started looking into it a couple years ago," Godlevske said about the jump to college, though he was an assistant men's basketball coach at Lake Superior State from 1994-96.
Kurt Godlevske talks to several of his players on the sideline while coaching girls basketball at Bedford, Ind., North Lawrence High School. A standout player in the Upper Peninsula in high school and college, Godlevske has been a prep coach for a dozen years and was just named an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Butler University. (Photo courtesy Butler University)
"With the quality of kids I've had and the contacts I've made, it seemed like a natural fit to make the move."
He said he will be involved with a number of duties at Butler, including recruiting, offensive plays, post players and academics.
"I'm looking forward to having that single focus on basketball," he said.
"The recruiting, I'll go out in July to start evaluating and see a lot of kids play. Putting those pieces of the puzzle together sounds like a great challenge."
Godlevske joins a Butler women's team that was 17-14 last season and earned its fourth berth in five years into the Women's National Invitiational Tournament under head coach Beth Couture.
The Bulldogs will join the Big East Conference next season.
"He will bring a great amount of coaching experience and a highly successful background," Couture said in a Butler news release.
"After my first meeting with Kurt, I knew he would be a great asset to our program."
Godlevske was born and raised in Bedford, Ind., then moved with his family to the Upper Peninsula as a teenager and graduated from L'Anse High School in 1989.
His parents, Harold and Darlene Godlevske, still live in the L'Anse area.
Kurt Godlevske earned all-state honors at L'Anse, then attended and played basketball at Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan universities, graduating from NMU in 1994.
At Northern, Godlevske earned several awards, including Sixth Man and MVP for the Wildcats and all-conference and all-tournament teams in the GLIAC.
He later received a master's degree in teaching in 2004 from the University of Indianapolis.
Godlevske still keeps in contact with people he's known in L'Anse, Newberry and Marquette.
"(NMU women's head basketball coach) Troy Mattson has been a mentor to me for 20 years, since he made the transition to the women's game at about the same time I did," he said, also mentioning NMU players from the time he was there such as Brandon Sager, current girls coach at Negaunee High School, and Matt Wonders, who teaches in Iron Mountain.
Following his coaching stint at LSSU, he moved to the high school ranks, serving as head boys coach at L'Anse from 2000-02, assistant boys coach at Indianapolis Lawrence North in 2003-04, and head boys and girls coach at Newberry from 2004-06.
He returned to Indiana for good and has been head girls coach at Bedford North Lawrence the past seven seasons, going 120-41, including 28-0 last season as the team won Indiana's state championship in Class 4A - the equivalent to Michigan's Class A.
His overall head coaching record is 177-116, according to the website for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association, ibcacoaches.com.
He earned coach of the year honors in the Copper Country Conference in 2002, Hoosier Hills Conference the last two seasons, and in his state district in Indiana this past season.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246. His email address is email@example.com.