By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Apr 01, 2014 at 12:05 AM

Keith Tozer, the displaced former coach of the Milwaukee Wave, has agreed in principle to become the new basketball coach at Marquette University. He will make the formal announcement at a 10 a.m. news conference at the Bradley Center.

Tozer has only moderate experience in basketball, mostly gained as a backup point guard on the junior varsity team in high school. But that apparently was not a consideration for the new president of Marquette, Mike Lovell.

"Just as my faith was a big part of my decision to move from UWM to Marquette, so, too is faith a big part in my decision to hire Keith. I don’t know if he’s Catholic. He’s not sure what he is, but he has pledged to convert to Catholicism if we discover he is something else," says Lovell.

Marquette had been spurned by a number of candidates since Buzz Williams abruptly left for a position on the halftime show of CBS’ March Madness telecasts and for a job as the coach of the moribund Virginia Tech basketball program.

Marquette had offered the job to Shaka Smart, coach at VCU, Chaka Kahn, Bo Ryan, Barack Obama (they said they’d name an interim for the next two years) and every coach in the National Invitational Tournament. All of them turned the job down.

"We were clearly disappointed," Lovell said. "But then, like a miracle from the good book, Keith got his ass fired and was available. He is a great leader of young men and helps them grow into productive adults. X’s and O’s can be learned. By anyone. But that leadership is something inborn.

"I sought advice, both divine and earthly, on this decision. Sue Black called Tozer a ‘nice part of our organization although he seemed to have outlived his usefulness.’  I couldn’t imagine a better endorsement. I also prayed on this. I didn’t get an answer but I think the Lord, or a lord, would have said go ahead."

Tozer called the job an "opportunity of a lifetime," and didn't think the job offer has anything to do with the fact that Lovell owes him a sizable sum from losses incurred during their weekly poker game.

"There are only subtle differences between soccer. We had a smaller ball, more players, a goalie and we could only use our feet. See? Not that much different at all."

Some MU alumni and students took to social media to blast the hiring, especially since the word from sources inside of Marquette Student Media was that Al McGuire was resurrected, on a plane and scheduled for a press conference at 5 p.m.

@MarqDeSade wrote on Twitter: "Who? You’re kidding me."

@AWarriorAlways wrote on Twitter: "Who? You’re kidding me."

@MUHotChick wrote on Twitter: "Who? You’re kidding me."

@UWNFan wrote on HootSuite: "Great. Panthers a shoo-in for best team in town."

Lovell was unfazed by the barrage of criticism.

"Let he who is without a voice in this process cast the first stone. They hired me to make bold decisions. Nothing much can be bolder than this."

The College of Cardinals released a statement in support of Lovell calling him a "good Catholic and a man of iron will."

Pope Francis, following a touchy-feely meeting with lepers with jaundice, herpes and chicken pox, was asked for a comment.

"Who?" the pontiff replied. "You’re kidding me."