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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sean Miller out as Arizona men’s basketball coach after 12 seasons

Amy Bailey

Sean Miller thanks the crowd for continuously supporting the Arizona men’s basketball team. 

The University of Arizona has parted ways with Sean Miller after serving 12 seasons as the Wildcats’ men’s basketball coach, confirmed via a news release from the university Wednesday morning, April 7. Stadium’s Jeff Goodman first broke the story.

Miller posted a coaching record of 302-109 with five conference championships and three Pac-12 Tournament championships during his tenure. Miller also led the Wildcats to five Sweet Sixteens and three Elite Eight appearances.

“We appreciate Sean’s commitment to our basketball program and to the university,” athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement. “After taking the many factors involved into account, we simply believe that we need a fresh start and now is the time. I want to thank Sean, Amy and their sons for their service to the university and wish them the very best in the future.”

Goodman reported that Miller had met with Heeke and President Dr. Robert C. Robbins Tuesday night, April 6 to discuss Miller’s future. The group had met again Wednesday morning, April 7 and decided to part ways with Miller, who is owed about $1.5 million and entering the final year of his contract that was set to expire after the 2021-22 season. 

Heeke said associate head coach Jack Murphy will serve as the interim head coach, and the national coaching search will begin immediately. 

“After conferring with Dave Heeke since the season’s end, it has become clear that our men’s basketball program – and our University – needs to write a new chapter in our history, and that begins with a change of leadership,” Robbins said in a statement. “Arizona Basketball means so much to so many and, as stewards of the program, we must always act in the best interests of the university. I believe our future is bright, and I look forward to welcoming a new head coach to the Wildcat family.”

The decision came after the Arizona men’s basketball program self-imposed a one-year postseason tournament ban due to previous recruiting violations committed by former assistant Book Richardson. In October 2020, the NCAA served the program five Level I violations that included allegations of academic misconduct, a bribery scheme and lack of institutional control.

“We have a storied men’s basketball program with unbelievable fan support, facilities and resources,” Heeke said in a statement. “While we will not put a timeline on our search, we will move as expeditiously as possible and will include a broad array of candidates, identifying coaches who exhibit integrity, competitiveness and a genuine care for the student-athletes. I am confident that we will have a diverse pool and find the right fit for Arizona men’s basketball.”

This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available. 

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