Sean Miller can become the third Arizona head coach to reach 300 victories at the school when the Wildcats face nemesis Oregon today at noon at McKale Center.
The Wildcats (14-6, 8-6 Pac-12) have lost five straight games to Oregon, including the last two meetings in Tucson. If Arizona can turn the tide against the Ducks, it could be a very memorable day for Miller and the program.
Here is some data related to Miller’s potential 300th win at Arizona:
300 Wins at One SchoolThese coaches affiliated with Pac-12 schools earned 300 wins at their institution. Sean Miller is the 10th in league history to accomplish that feat. Data courtesy Arizona Athletics.
|Slats Gill||Oregon State||1928-64||599|
|Jack Friel||Washington State||1928-58||495|
|Ned Wulk||Arizona State||1957-82||405|
|Ralph Miller||Oregon State||1970-89||359|
Sean Miller’s victory milestone progression:
Arizona 87, Northern Arizona 70
Nov. 15, 2009
Sean Miller became the fourth consecutive Arizona head coach to open with a victory after Lute Olson, Kevin O’Neill and Russ Pennell pulled it off in stints since 1984. Wildcat freshman forward Solomon Hill led the Cats with 17 points and senior guard Nic Wise added 15 points.
Arizona 81, St. John’s 72
Nov. 17, 2011
Solomon Hill had 15 points to lead No. 15 Arizona to a roller coaster 81-72 victory over St. John’s in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at Madison Square Garden. Arizona, which had started hot from 3-point range before cooling off, suddenly found its stroke behind the arc again in a 16-2 run that gave the Wildcats a 74-68 lead with 3:13 to play.
Arizona 100, Fairleigh Dickinson 50
Nov. 18, 2013
Miller turned 45 years a day before turning 100 at Arizona with this win. The fifth-year Wildcats coach earned his 100th victory at the school, fittingly, a 100-50 late-night cruise over Fairleigh Dickinson, a game that won’t be long-remembered except for the milestone footnote. Athletic director Greg Byrne stopped the team before it left the court, honoring the 100th victory by presenting Miller with the game ball. “It feels good. It’s better to celebrate that than to not be at that number; I’ll say that,” Miller was quoted as saying in a TucsonCitizen.com report by Anthony Gimino. “Hopefully, there’s many more to come this year and beyond, for sure.”
Arizona 86, Washington 62
Feb. 13, 2015
Stanley Johnson scored 20 points to lead five Arizona players in double figures as the seventh-ranked Wildcats routed Washington. The Wildcats used hot shooting and a huge first-half run to pull away from the undermanned Huskies. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 17 points, Gabe York scored 13 off the bench and T.J. McConnell orchestrated it all with 10 points and 10 assists, his first double-double of the season.
Arizona 67, California 62
Dec. 30, 2016
Dusan Ristic scored 16 points and No. 18 Arizona overcame a sluggish and sloppy first half to beat California in the Pac-12 opener for both teams. Kobi Simmons added 14 points while Lauri Markkanen had 13 points and nine rebounds as the Wildcats rallied from 13 points down and used a big run coming out of halftime to extend their winning streak to six games. “Anytime as a coach, when you hit one of those it” means something, Miller said of his 200th win to reporters after the game. “I know a lot of guys answer the question like it doesn’t, but being a college basketball coach isn’t easy, especially in this his day and age when one season to the next so many things can change.”
Arizona 79, UTEP 46
Nov. 14, 2018
Brandon Williams and Brandon Randolph scored 21 points apiece in the rout of UTEP. The freshman Williams scored 15 in the first half as Arizona took a 34-23 lead at the break. Randolph, a sophomore, scored 14 in the second half, when the Wildcats blew open a 35-point lead. Chase Jeter, a transfer from Duke who sat out last season, added 15 points for the Wildcats.
Miller looks to join Olson, Enke as UA coaches with 300 wins
Two coaches have reached 300 wins at Arizona — Lute Olson and Fred A. Enke.
Olson finished with a record of 589-187 from 1983 to 2007.
Enke’s record was 509-324 from 1925 to 1961.
Miller’s record is 299-106 from 2009 to now.
Olson’s age when he reached win No. 300 at Arizona: 61
Enke’s age when he notched his 300th win with the Wildcats: 49
Miller’s age: 52
Number of games it took Olson to reach win No. 300 at Arizona: 395
Number of games it took Enke to reach win No. 300 at Arizona: 441
Number of games Miller has coached at Arizona to now: 405
Olson’s 300th win at Arizona came on Dec. 30, 1995, in a 79-70 win over Rutgers
The Wildcats captured the Fiesta Bowl Classic title at McKale Center behind the tournament MVP performance of senior guard Reggie Geary, who had 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Miles Simon had a career-high 26 points and nine rebounds. Arizona honored Olson after the game with a plaque in a postgame ceremony. Joseph Blair snuck behind Olson with a Gatorade container and dumped what looked like pieces of tissue paper on Olson’s white mane. “When I first came here after the 4-24 season (in 1982-83) I spent the first couple of months wondering if I made the right decision,” Olson told reporters. “As I reflect, I started thinking, ‘What are the keys to making this happen?’ Obviously, we have been blessed with great young people. What started it? Without Pete Williams I hate to think of how much more we would have had to go to get it turned around. That first group of guys (in 1983-84 and 1984-85) pointed out to Sean Elliott and Craig McMillan and to other guys we were doing something here. There’s been a lot of people who have made this occur. It has been nice, frankly, to reflect on how fortunate I’ve been.”
Enke’s 300th win at Arizona came on Dec. 13, 1946, in a 69-47 win over Texas Tech
Over 2,700 packed Bear Down Gym to watch the Wildcats rout Border Conference rival Texas Tech. Link Richmond led Arizona with 25 points. Future Arizona Congressman Morris K. Udall was a top reserve on the team who finished with seven points. Enke’s son Fred Enke Jr., who went on to excel at football as a quarterback, was also part of the team. Neither the Arizona Daily Star or Tucson Citizen mentioned the win as Enke’s 300th at Arizona, potentially because by then he had already been at Arizona for 21 years. The Wildcats played schedules of 20 to 25 games a year and World War II interrupted play for two years.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.