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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona men’s basketball to hire Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd as new head coach

Outside of the McKale Center.
Maverick Arnold
The ticket office on the south side of McKale Center

Longtime Gonzaga men’s basketball assistant coach Tommy Lloyd has been named as the next head coach for the Arizona men’s basketball team, confirmed via a news release from the university Wednesday afternoon, April 14. Stadium’s Jeff Goodman first broke the story. 

Lloyd will receive a five-year contract, pending Board of Regents approval.

Nearly 50 days since the Wildcats’ last game and a week since relieving 12-season head man Sean Miller of his duties, Arizona’s coaching search has concluded. Lloyd has been on staff with Gonzaga head coach Mark Few for 20 seasons dating back to the 2001-02 season. His title was “associate head coach” and was known to be Gonzaga’s “head coach in waiting” whenever Few retired or tried out a new challenge. 

“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,” athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement. “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, 46, has been a key part of Gonzaga’s recent dominance and Mark Few’s tenure. Lloyd is thought of as a top-end assistant in the country and fits right in on the West Coast. 

Being from the Washington area, he was close to home in Spokane, Washington. Arizona and Gonzaga have looked at each other as the prominent teams on this side of the Mississippi since the 21st century started, and Lloyd looks to continue that trend. 

“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,” Lloyd said in a statement. “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.”

Lloyd is also the main innovator within Gonzaga’s European success with recruits and development, something that Arizona has trended towards the last few seasons. Look for that path to continue here in Tucson. 

Lloyd has a very solid resume and pedigree, but he is stepping into big shoes leading a borderline blue blood program like the Arizona men’s basketball program. Miller, even with the recent struggles, still took Arizona to three Elite Eights and three Pac-12 championships to go along with five regular-season championships as well. 

Due to recent NCAA allegations and an FBI investigation, Miller seemed to have fallen off just a tad with an NCAA tournament win being absent from the program since the 2017 season. 

“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,” President Robert C. Robbins said in a statement. “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.”

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