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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Xavier’s Miller reportedly rejects Arizona job offer

    Arizona officials have yet to find a head coach for the men’s basketball team.

    UA athletics director Jim Livengood and university president Robert Shelton met with Xavier head coach Sean Miller early Sunday in New Mexico to discuss an opening on the Wildcats’ men’s basketball squad, according to multiple reports.

    But reports late Sunday night indicate that Miller had turned down Arizona’s offer.

    A private jet, owned by UA booster Paul Weitman, took Miller from Cincinnati to New Mexico and back on Sunday.

    The twin-engine jet was in Albuquerque from 9:31 a.m. to 1:54 p.m. MDT, according to flightaware.com. Livengood and Miller reportedly rented a car in Albuquerque and drove to Santa Fe to meet Shelton.

    Numerous reports claim Arizona offered Miller a contract worth $13 to $15 million over five to seven years.

    Miller, 40, makes around $1 million at Xavier, where he is 120-47 in five years. He has taken the Musketeers to the NCAA Tournament four straight times, including a Sweet 16 appearance this season and an Elite Eight berth last season.

    Miller is currently under contract with Xavier through the 2015-16 season, but has a reported $2 million buyout.

    Xavier athletic director Mike Bobinski told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Sunday he was ready to make a counteroffer if necessary.

    “”People’s feelings and thoughts changed,”” Bobinski told the Enquirer. “”You would not be incorrect in assuming that’s what happened here. Searches are fluid processes and things change, but Sean has been great in letting me know what’s going on.

    “”We have done and will continue to do whatever is humanly possible to keep Sean,”” Bobinski added.

    It is unclear if Miller was in fact offered a counteroffer.

    Kentucky head coach John Calipari, a friend who calls Miller his cousin, said Miller was experiencing the same things Calipari was when deciding whether to leave Memphis.

    “”(Miller) has a potential Final Four team coming back next season, loves where he lives, has security and is paid well and has the best job in his league, yet has to decide whether or not this is the right job for him to explore,”” Calipari told ESPN.com.

    Though Miller’s meeting with UA officials didn’t take place in Tucson on Sunday, the Xavier coach has some indirect ties to Arizona.

    Miller was an assistant coach at Miami (Ohio) and North Carolina State under current ASU coach Herb Sendek. Miller was with Sendek at Miami (Ohio) in 1995 when it beat Arizona by nine points in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

    Miller also lost to the Wildcats by 20 in McKale Center when he played for the Pittsburg Panthers in 1992.

    What’s more, Miller is a friend of Josh Pastner, a former UA assistant coach and player who just finished coaching a year under Calipari at Memphis. Though Pastner is preparing to coach at Kentucky with Calipari, there is speculation that Pastner would have come to Tucson if Miller accepted the job as the Wildcats’ head coach.

    USC coach Tim Floyd was flown into Tucson in Weitman’s jet last week to discus Arizona’s opening, but Floyd opted to continue coaching the Trojans.

    Floyd and Miller are the only coaches who have been publicly disclosed as one of Arizona’s targets.

    Virginia Tech’s Seth Greenberg, Utah’s Jim Boylen and Pastner are all names that have been thrown out as Arizona’s next targets.

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