Miller changes his mind and accepts Arizona job?(updated 1:25pm)

Miller changes his mind.
(4/6/2009 1:05 PM Update)

One of the ideal fits to potentially become NC State’s head basketball coach if Coach Lowe were to head back to the NBA or not get the job done next season may be off the market. It appears Sean Miller has changed his mind and may in fact accept the Arizona position over a weekend when Lee “I have a contract and I know basketball” Fowler was not attending the Final Four in Detroit.

Sean Miller accepted the job as head coach of the Arizona Wildcats on Monday, one day after turning the position down, a source close to the negotiations told Yahoo! Sports.

Miller told Arizona he would remain at Xavier late last night, then asked for a chance to sleep on the decision. After going back and forth during the morning, a source said, he informed XU athletic director Mike Bobinski of his decision at noon ET.

MILLER EXPECTED TO SPURN ARIZONA (April 6, 2009 @ 12:40am)
I am the type of person who likes to have every possible option open to him when/if a decision needs to be made. If Coach Lowe struggles next season and it just so happens that the Wolfpack is in the market for a new basketball coach, I can’t help but proclaim that this is fantastic news knowing how highly Sean regards our job.

Sean Miller is expected to be the latest to spurn Arizona.

According to sources close to the situation, the Xavier head coach met with Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood in New Mexico earlier today and has decided that – barring a last-minute change of heart – he will remain with the Musketeers.

Miller, 40, has spent the last five seasons as the head coach of the Musketeers and has made four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances – including an Elite Eight last season and a Sweet 16 this past year.

Miller joins USC’s Tim Floyd to meet with Livengood in the past few days and turn down what was once considered an elite program.

Livengood was also unsuccessful luring big names such as Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon and Gonzaga’s Mark Few.

Miller makes approximately $800,000 at Xavier and, according to sources, was offered more than $2 million a year in Tucson.

Now the Wildcats will need to find someone willing to take the job. According to sources, Utah’s Jim Boylen might be next in line.

SOURCES: ARIZONA TARGETS MILLER (April 4, 2009 @ 11:56am)

This story is worth following for a lot of reasons. There is a lot of Miller-related commentary in this discussion from a couple of days ago.

Arizona has zeroed in on Sean Miller.

This link has more:

What does make sense is Arizona’s newest target: Sean Miller.

While it may not appear to fit, he’s the ideal choice. In fact, long-term it could

Here’s why:

1) He’s 40 years old and could see the long-term picture for rebuilding in Tucson. A guy like Tim Floyd doesn’t want to get his head beaten in for two years at this stage of his career. Miller would be more apt to deal with that given that he could vie for Final Fours and maybe a national title somewhere down the line. Miller isn’t a stop-gap like some of the previous candidates (Floyd, Tubby Smith).

2) Miller can recruit. He’s a grinder who can evaluate talent (see: Derrick Brown, B.J. Raymond, etc.) and connects well with kids.

3) He can coach. Four straight NCAA tournament appearances – including a Sweet 16 this season with an unenviable point guard situation.

4) He would go toe-to-toe and wouldn’t be intimidated by any of the big boys out west – and in particular, UCLA’s Ben Howland.

Miller played at Pittsburgh and hasn’t coached anywhere out west, but he’d need to hire the right staff to get it done in Tucson. Obviously, bringing on now-Kentucky assistant Josh Pastner as his associate head coach would be huge (Pastner works for one of Miller’s closest friends, John Calipari).

Miller still hasn’t decided whether he’s going to meet with Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood, but sources indicate he’s strongly considering it.

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08-09 Basketball General

193 Responses to Miller changes his mind and accepts Arizona job?(updated 1:25pm)

  1. bluelena69 04/04/2009 at 10:39 PM #

    Tommy Izzo is the Rodney Dangerfield of college basketball. No respect. This guy has been to how many Final 4’s in the past decade and has done so with, what, 8 McDonald’s All-Americas? The guy beat Bill Self’s Kansas, Rick Pitino’s Louisville and Jim Calhoun’s UConn just to get to this title game. Yet, he tends to not get a mention when people are talking about the “great” coaches of today.

    A few weeks ago, my brother (Dogbreath or something like that here) laid it all out for me and its just amazing when you look at his body of work as a whole. His teams play smart, they play hard and they are prepared to adjust to whoever they seek to beat. Tonight, I noticed that they had their game faces on for the announcement of the starting lineups. UConn’s starters all had these stupid, embarrassing, choreographed dances. And they got worked.

    About the actual subject of this thread…damnit. I get sick of watching everyone else want to win why we are supposed to stand by, get publicly insulted by our school’s administrators, and continue to suck at basketball. Of well, I am sure Sean Miller will enjoy being out in the desert and competing against his mentor. I will be pulling for him, as I like the way he prepares his teams and had hoped he could, perhaps, coach mine.

  2. Astral Rain 04/04/2009 at 10:55 PM #

    I know the two are unrelated, but I’d trade UNC winning the next 3 national titles for Fowlup to be gone.

    SFN: They are getting ready to win their 2nd in the amount of time that Fowler has been at NC State. In the time that Lee Fowler, who ‘knows basketball, has been a NC State — UNC-CH has made their way to four different Final Fours. NC State has managed to win a total of five NCAA Tournament games.

  3. Packster 04/05/2009 at 8:06 AM #

    The Holes make me want to puke. I am sick of everyone talking about them, wearing their clothes, and them f’ing winning all the time. If one more person says “well aren’t you rooting for the North Carolina team?” one more time I just don’t know what I might do. UNX winning another national title is nothing but bad for us no matter how you slice it.

  4. CStanley 04/05/2009 at 8:28 AM #

    Make no mistake, Izzo is one of the best in the game. Mich. State is very lucky to have him, he always does a marvelous job every season with that team. To have them in the National Title game this year is just a credit to the fantastic coaching job he did this season.

    But I’ve said all along MSU was the only team that I didn’t think had a chance to beat Carolina in Detroit. That’s not saying much, because I don’t think any of the teams there could beat them…but Carolina presents the worst matchup for the Spartans.

    Monday is likely going to be another route. It won’t be the blowout at the beginning of the year, but I would expect something similar to the Villanova or Oklahoma games. This Carolina team is just awesome right now.

  5. redfred2 04/05/2009 at 9:31 AM #


  6. Wulfpack 04/05/2009 at 10:05 AM #

    The thing that pisses me off the most about Carolina is they are constantly reloading. Just when you think you might have an opening and guys leave either to graduation or the NBA, they counter with a grea recruiting class. And more importantly, their young guys develop quickly. I didn’t know who Ed Davis was prior to the season opener. Now, he’s just going to be another great UNC player to make his mark and make a lot of money at the next level. That guy is a man-child on the glass, but he’s also very smooth on offense. I don’t think there is much reason to think UNC won’t have a Final Four caliber team next year after winning it this year. Davis, Thompson and Zeller make a formidable front court. The back court will obviously take a hit when Lawson and/or Ellington leaves, but they have another great class waiting in line and Ginyard is back as the defensive stopper. And, of course, wasn’t it fabulous to see Roy had called John Wall from the Final Four to “ask him how things are going”. But UNC isn’t recruiting him, of course not, I mean, who would want that guy on their team? Anyways, I’ll be pulling for Sparty Monday night, but I expect UNC to put the game away fairly early.

  7. redfred2 04/05/2009 at 10:10 AM #


  8. StateFans 04/05/2009 at 10:12 AM #

    Forget Carolina. How about we compete with Michigan State? How about Texas A&M? How about Louisville? How about Xavier? How about Maryland? How about Texas?

  9. redfred2 04/05/2009 at 10:47 AM #


  10. redfred2 04/05/2009 at 10:52 AM #

    ^^^correction: And to think, they had a pretty “good” leg up on doing just that,…

  11. old13 04/05/2009 at 11:12 AM #

    If I understand your point, redfred2, that has always been my contention: AD, Chancellor, BOT – The Administration has the RESPONSIBILITY to use those contributions made to NCSU for whatever purpose to get the “biggest bang for the buck” possible – and that applies equally to contributions for athletics as it does for contributions for any other aspect of the university. The NCSU administration seems to have gotten the idea that the end purpose of the contributions made to NCSU athletics was facilities improvements, whereas I think most of us intend that only as a means to the ultimate end purpose of making NCSU athletics across-the-board competitive on the field/court. And to my way of thinking, the Administration has not met their duty in that regard.

  12. redfred2 04/05/2009 at 1:49 PM #


  13. old13 04/05/2009 at 2:32 PM #

    That being the case, what does that say for all the recent NCSU mantras using words such as “Achieve” and “Excellence!” Kind of makes them empty words, huh! And the attitude of The NCSU Administration as you have described must permeate all aspects of university administration resulting in what we should call “Mediocrity U,” which is pretty well borne out by national (academic) ratings of the university paralleling Foulup’s Director’s Cup performance. It makes sense!

  14. Wulfpack 04/05/2009 at 2:48 PM #

    Miller is going to meet with Arizona, but Xavier is prepared to make a counter-offer. Should be interesting. I know Arizona is one hell of a job, and given the relative ease of the Pac 10, you can develop a real winner there with California ballers nearby, but something tells me that if Miller held out and stayed at Xavier just one more year, he will have a BIG-time gig….like, maybe…err…. N.C. State!

  15. packbackr04 04/05/2009 at 5:28 PM #

    but wulf… if he stays and Xavier ups his current gig. his buyout will be too much to address for the tightwads at NCSU next year. no, im afraid we let this one get away.. again.

    Fowler should have been fired after he refused to hire Glance. like within a week of Yows death. then our new AD could already be in place and in the process of replacing Sid. now, we get another year of watching our players “not running their stuff” and in the process ruining Sids reputation in raleigh. He should have been told(in february) to get a job in the NBA, resigned, and been at the presser naming his successor this week. fans would have appreciated that he took the program over 3 years ago when Fowler scared everyone else away. He would have been applauded for getting some athletic players in raleigh, easing the transition from the weave and heave offense for the new coach to work with.
    but noooooo, we let fowler shit the bed once again, ruining any chance we had of getting back to respectability.

  16. RedTerrors06 04/05/2009 at 7:44 PM #

    “…he will have a BIG-time gig….like, maybe…err…. N.C. State!”

    At this point it pains me to face reality that NCSU is half the big-time gig that Arizona is….and that is with Miller’s State ties and recent Arizona post-Lute languishing factored in…


  17. redfred2 04/05/2009 at 8:22 PM #


  18. MrPlywood 04/05/2009 at 11:57 PM #

    Hell yeah. If Miller does indeed “spurn”, Arizona’s coaching search is sure to supplant LF’s amazing display of ineptitude. Here’s to the new gold standard!

  19. Rick 04/06/2009 at 6:31 AM #

    Does AZ have a bigger idiot running their program than we do?

  20. anti-smurf 04/06/2009 at 7:11 AM #

    Maybe LF has secretly xferred as AD from NC State to AD at ARizona?

  21. com state10 04/06/2009 at 7:33 AM #

    If we fail to make the tournament next year, and Sid resigns, from what people have said on this site, I would love to have Miller come in.

    What I am confused about though, is if Miller would turn down AZ….how are you guys positive he would accept our job?

  22. Daily Update 04/06/2009 at 7:40 AM #

    Why is Arizona considered such a great job?

    They are 500 miles from LA and almost 1000 miles from Dallas.

    What natural recruiting territory does Az have? Just because some programs have won more than ours doesn’t mean that it is an easier job. At NC State, you have Ryan Kelly and John Wall who were McD AA equivalents within a few miles of our campus.

  23. Daily Update 04/06/2009 at 7:49 AM #

    The closest McD AAs to Arizona were in the LA area which is almost 500 miles from Tucson. All others were about 1000 miles away in Texas. There were 7 or so total from Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston, and Southern Cal.

    So why not just go play at Texas, Oklahoma, USC or UCLA instead of going to school in the middle of the desert?

  24. packalum44 04/06/2009 at 7:50 AM #

    ^ B/C we would match the $ and he’s an east coast guy. Would you move to AZ if you could make the same dough in an area you’ve lived for 40 years? Not me. He was using AZ to get an offer and see what his market value was.

    The real litmus test of whether he wants State as some folks think…if Sid stays around another year and Miller restructures his contract with Xavier…does he insist on an easy/affordable buy-out clause (e.g. Calipari & Memphis)???

    Pipe dream…we hire him later this week and he never restructures squat.

  25. packbackr04 04/06/2009 at 8:08 AM #

    Is Sid at the final four or is he in Raleigh?

    it would be interesting to see if he is there

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