For Illinois State head coach Porter Moser, it is only fitting that the son of a land developer would carry a blueprint with him.
Moser designed and implemented his "blueprint for success" at his first head coaching position, a three-year stint at Arkansas-Little Rock. The plan not only focused on winning basketball games and building a program, but also graduating student-athletes, developing young men, gaining a sense of community and sharing a vision.
Now, he's engineering that same vision right in his own backyard. A native of Naperville, Ill., Moser played collegiately at Creighton and is familiar with the Illinois State tradition and the quality level of basketball in the Missouri Valley Conference.
With three seasons under his belt, the application of the blueprint is in full motion in the Bloomington-Normal community. He finished his first season with a 10-19 record and even though his first-year record wasn't up to his standards, Moser followed it up with a 17-13 campaign, despite being predicted to finish last in the league in the preseason poll.
After losing the conference's newcomer of the year and three 1,000-point scorers, Moser's third season proved to be a challenging one. The Redbirds finished with a 9-19 mark, but the coach and his staff responded with one of the most talent-laden recruiting classes in school history.
In addition to hitting the recruiting trail, Moser's grassroots approach has found him at numerous community service events, student functions and other public appearances as he shares the excitement surrounding Redbird basketball.
Moser joins the Redbirds after compiling a 54-34 (.614) record at Arkansas-Little Rock after a 10-year run as a Division I assistant coach.
In his first season as a head coach, Moser inherited a 4-24 Trojan team. He responded by guiding UALR to an 18-11 mark, which was the largest turnaround in Sun Belt Conference history and tied for the biggest reversal of fortune at the Division I level that season.
When Moser took over the program, the Trojans ranked last in several defensive categories in the Sun Belt. After that first season, UALR finished tops in the conference in field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percentage defense, and second in scoring defense.
Heading into his second season, Moser had lost four starters and the top three scorers, but still managed to post an 18-11 record while again leading the league in three-point field goal percentage defense. In 2002-03, the Trojans finished with an 18-12 mark that included an 84-75 win over Western Athletic Conference Tournament champion Colorado State.
Through three seasons at Arkansas-Little Rock, Moser molded Trojan basketball into one of the biggest tickets in town. He looks to create the same type of atmosphere at Illinois State.
Prior to becoming the Trojans' head coach, Moser served two seasons as an assistant at UALR under Wimp Sanderson and current Dallas Maverick assistant Sidney Moncrief.
After his playing career ended at Creighton, Moser stayed with the Bluejays as a graduate assistant coach on Tony Barone's staff during the 1990-91 season. That year, the Bluejays won the Valley and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
The following season, Moser left Creighton to rejoin Barone for his first of two stints at Texas A&M. Moser served as an assistant coach with the Aggies from 1991-95 and was instrumental in their 1994 National Invitation Tournament bid. Texas A&M finished the season with a 19-11 record and advanced to its first postseason appearance in seven years.
Moser's tenure at Texas A&M was interrupted by a one-year stint as an assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he was a key part of the Panthers' highest-ranked recruiting class in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference.
After one season at UW-Milwaukee, Moser returned for two more seasons at Texas A&M under Barone before landing in Little Rock.
A 1986 graduate of Benet Academy in Lisle, Moser was a two-year starter for Creighton as a guard, including the Bluejays' 1989 Missouri Valley Conference championship team. He graduated from Creighton in 1990 with a degree in business management.
At Benet, Moser was a three-year varsity starter and was named the conference player of the year as a senior. The all-state selection was also instrumental in Benet's state record 102-game home winning streak.
Moser is married to the former Megan Lewis. They are the parents of a daughter, Jordan (4), and two sons, Jake (2) and Ben (1).