HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana named David Kiefer the 13th men’s basketball coach in school history.
The St. Petersburg, Florida, native had been the Lions’ interim head coach since Jay Ladner resigned and took the same position at Southern Miss in April.
Kiefer’s first year as head coach will be his fifth with the SLU program. He has been the program’s associate head coach for the past three seasons after starting as an assistant coach on Ladner’s staff in 2015-16. Kiefer has been Southeastern’s lead recruiter during his tenure, helping the Lions to the 2017-18 Southland Conference championship and the first NIT appearance in program history.
“We’re pleased to have David Kiefer lead the Southeastern Louisiana men’s basketball program,” athletic director Jay Artigues said. “We have steadily improved on and off the court over the past several years and coach Kiefer has played a large part in that progress. We’re expecting the Lions’ dedication to excellence in competition, in the classroom and in the community to continue under Coach Kiefer’s direction.”
Kiefer has been running the program this offseason since Ladner’s departure and said he is excited to officially take the reins.
“I’m extremely thankful to (university president) Dr. John Crain, Mr. Jay Artigues and our administration for the opportunity to lead the Southeastern men’s basketball program,” Kiefer said. “Coach Ladner left our program in tremendous shape and I’ll always be appreciative to him for bringing myself and my family to Hammond. I’m blessed to have the chance to build on our initial success and am eager to continue to grow our program on and off the court.”
Kiefer said he expects the Lions to develop an identity early in his tenure.
“We’re going to put forth maximum effort in everything we do and develop good habits,” Kiefer said. “We will be a tough, defensive-minded team and grow together. The teams that have been successful in our league are the ones who play with the most energy and effort on a consistent basis. We’re going to set that tone and expectation from Day 1.”
In addition to overseeing the recruiting efforts that led SLU to post a combined 27-9 conference mark over the past two seasons, one of Kiefer’s primary roles at Southeastern has been his work with the Lion guards. Among Kiefer’s backcourt charges was multi-time All-Southland Conference performer Marlain Veal, who finished his Southland career in March as the program’s all-time leader in assists and steals, as well as the second-leading scorer in school history.
Kiefer started his coaching career as a student manager at Cincinnati and Kansas State, working under coaches Frank Martin, Bob Huggins and Andy Kennedy. In Kiefer’s final season before coming to SLU, he spent a year on Martin’s staff at South Carolina, serving as the director of video services and coordinated Martin’s summer camps.
Kiefer’s career also includes stops at Central Florida, Arlington Country Day High School and St. Mary’s Ryken High School in Maryland. A 2007 graduate of Kansas State, Kiefer earned his master’s degree from Salem International in 2013.