So, Arizona has a new men’s basketball coach.
Arizona has hired Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd to replace Sean Miller.
“We are thrilled that Tommy and his family are joining the Wildcat Family and reestablishing our men’s basketball program among the elite in the nation,” said Heeke in a statement released by Arizona at 5 p.m. “After speaking with a tremendous pool of candidates, and with so many in and out of the college basketball world, it became clear that Tommy has the passion, the experience, the knowledge, the coaching and recruiting acumen and the drive to lead us to championships. He has been a big part of the incredible rise and success of Gonzaga Basketball and is well-respected for his partnership with that program’s head coach, Mark Few. We are looking forward to what’s next, and we welcome Tommy, Chanelle and their children, Liam, Sophia Marie and Maria Alexis to Tucson.”
Lloyd’s name was one of the first – if not the first – names to come on the radar when Arizona fired Miller last week.
“I am extremely grateful to President Robbins and Dave Heeke for the incredible opportunity to lead one of the country’s most storied men’s basketball programs,” said Lloyd. “While there are certainly potential obstacles ahead for our program, I embrace the challenge as we will build on the foundation in place to compete for PAC-12 and national championships. I know how much Arizona Basketball means to the institution, its fans, its community and the state, and I cannot wait to get started. That works begin now. My family and I are excited to settle in Tucson and begin a new chapter.”
He beat out a host of former UA players for the job, something other former UA players were hoping for. Names like Josh Pastner (Georgia Tech), Damon Stoudamire (Pacific), Miles Simon (Lakers assistant) were others who interviewed for the job.
Lloyd is the first assistant coach UA has hired since Fred Snowden in 1972. Arizona hired Russ Pennell as an interim head coach in 2008 to replace Kevin O’Neil who replaced the late Lute Olson.
“I want to thank Dave Heeke for his leadership in this process and the many basketball experts, coaches and former players who provided us with invaluable advice,” said President Robert C. Robbins. “Ultimately, Tommy rose to the top, and I am confident in the future of our men’s basketball program with him at the helm. With our women’s basketball program’s incredible run to the NCAA championship game just a week ago, and now with Tommy Lloyd taking the reins of our men’s program, I can proudly say Arizona Basketball is in good hands.”
The 46-year-old Lloyd has spent the last two decades as Mark Few’s assistant in Spokane, Wash.