Arizona will have a new permanent coach in 2021-22 for only the third time in almost 40 years from when Lute Olson arrived in 1983.
Olson coached 24 years followed by two seasons of interim coaches Kevin O’Neill and Russ Pennell and then the last 12 years by Sean Miller.
Social media is going wild with speculation of Miller’s successor at Arizona, which won a national title in 1996-97 but has yet to return to the Final Four since 2000-01.
Miller came close with Elite Eight appearances in 2010-11, 2013-14 and 2014-15.
With potential probation looming after an NCAA investigation deemed Miller did not demonstrate that he “promoted an atmosphere for compliance and monitored his staff,” the new hire will have the difficult task of rebuilding the program.
The NCAA charged the school with five Level I violations, according to a notice of allegations released last month. The program was hit with two alleged instances of academic misconduct involving former assistants Book Richardson and Mark Phelps.
Here are some social media reactions of Miller’s firing today by Arizona president Robert C. Robbins and athletic director Dave Heeke:
Steve Rivera, of Fox Sports 1450-AM and AllSportsTucson.com, has been around the Arizona basketball program longer than anyone. He provided his insight with this column:
The Miller Era is Over; What is his Legacy? https://t.co/0Q7Cvwi8CG
— Steve Rivera (@SteveRivera95) April 7, 2021
The two biggest revenue producers at Arizona — football and men’s basketball — will have new coaches in 2021-22 at the same time for the first time in 107 years:
Looked it up: The last time Arizona changed its football and men’s basketball coach heading into the same school year was way back in 1914-15 when J.F. “Pop” McKale took over both programs. pic.twitter.com/xb8k9q3l1W
— Javier Morales (@JavierJMorales) April 7, 2021
Miller may be off to the NBA. Keep in mind, the Miller family is good friends with New Orleans coach Stan Van Gundy.
Sean Miller’s immediate future is likely as an NBA assistant coach. At least one team expressed interest in the offseason, sources said, and now that he’s left Arizona, it’s expected Miller will move in that direction in the offseason.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 7, 2021
Somebody slept on it.
Sean Miller met with both Arizona president Dr. Robert Robbins and AD Dave Heeke last night for more than an hour with no conclusion, source told @stadium. Then met again this morning and decided to part ways with Miller, who is owed about $1.5 million.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 7, 2021
Arizona softball coaching legend Mike Candrea said he loved the way Miller bridged the tradition from Olson to how he coached the program.
UA softball coach Mike Candrea on Arizona parting ways with Sean Miller: “I don’t know all the details, so I’m not going to try to comment, but I’m gonna miss the guy. I really loved his passion. He was a player’s coach and he did a lot for this program.” pic.twitter.com/4ycytRG793
— Ryan Kelapire (@RKelapire) April 7, 2021
Fred “The Fox” Snowden’s daughter Stacey tweeted something that many people would agree with — hire Adia Barnes as the men’s coach:
Arizona has one of the best coaches in the country in @AdiaBarnes. At some point a woman needs to be hired to head a men’s team. It’s going to happen…why not now?
— Stacey Snowden (@snowdenhoops) April 8, 2021
Matt Moreno of Rivals.com is dialed into the program. What took Robbins so long? Boosters? The deep run by the Arizona women’s team in the NCAA tournament?
From everything I’ve been told over the last several weeks, the Sean Miller decision was truly made by Robbins before the Oregon game.
Then the admin let this thing sit and sit for a month all while saying “Sean Miller is our coach.”
— Matt Moreno (@MattGOAZCATS) April 7, 2021
Miller’s son Austin is not pleased with Robbins’ decision to let his dad go.
I wish Athletic Director Robbins luck in finding someone to fill those shoes
— Austin Miller (@austinmiller_3) April 7, 2021
Kerr Kriisa’s reaction to Austin Miller’s tweet:
Just leaving it out here.. One of the best coaches I’ve been coached by https://t.co/D5PgY2Ujav
— Kerr (@KerrKriisa) April 7, 2021
Allonzo Trier thinks Arizona fans should not be ecstatic of Miller forced out:
— Allonzo Trier (@ISO_ZO) April 7, 2021
Longtime NBA standout Jamal Crawford weighs in on two of his friends:
Damon Stoudamire at Arizona, with Jason Terry as his head assistant coach only makes sense right??
— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) April 7, 2021
Marc Spears, an ESPN NBA writer, thinks Stoudamire is the wise choice at Arizona:
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) April 7, 2021
Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd is the basketball equivalent of Jedd Fisch, a longtime assistant groomed by a legendary coach (Mark Few). Fisch learned under multiple legendary coaches. Who hired Fisch? Robbins did. Interesting to note that Arizona almost hired Tim Floyd before it hired Sean Miller. Now it might be Tommy Lloyd in charge.
The name buzzing around this job in recent days has been Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd. I’d expect Damon Stoudamire and Josh Pastner to get linked with the job. Mark Pope had some buzz a few months ago. Also wouldn’t be surprised to see Eric Musselman get a call to gauge interest
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 7, 2021
Um, why is Archie Miller on this list?
MyBookie betting odds on who will become next Arizona coach. thanks Natasha.
Damon Stoudamire +200
Tommy Floyd +250
Josh Pastner +400
Scott Drew +500
Miles Simon +900
Luke Walton +1200
Mark Pope +1200
Greg McDermott +1500
Archie Miller +2000
Eric Musselman +2000
— Dick Weiss (@HoopsWeiss) April 7, 2021
It could be because of the timing of the move so far after the end of the regular season, or let’s face it, some people, including prominent boosters, did not mind Miller as the head coach.
Do you agree with Arizona parting ways with Sean Miller?
— Javier Morales (@JavierJMorales) April 7, 2021
Why not throw Steve Kerr in there as well?
Arizona basketball coaching candidates: Damon Stoudamire, Luke Walton, Josh Pastner and other names to watch https://t.co/VL0mpFXwKt
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) April 7, 2021
For the record, Luke Walton has “no interest” in the Arizona job.
“No interest. I love Arizona and I think Sean Miller did an amazing job there in his time. I have a job. I have a job I love. I have a group I love working with. I’m very committed to being here in Sacramento.” -Luke Walton on Arizona job
— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) April 7, 2021
FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!
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.