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Arizona adds former Washington coach Lorenzo Romar as assistant

Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar reacts after a play against Southern California during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the Pac-12 men's tournament Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Las Vegas. Southern California won 78-73. (AP Photo/John Locher)

For many years, Lorenzo Romar led one of Arizona’s biggest Pac-12 rivals.

Now, he’s a Wildcat.

Romar is joining Sean Miller’s staff as an assistant coach, filling a void created when Joe Pasternack left to become the head coach at UCSB.

The university made the announcement official on Saturday.

“It’s an exciting day for Arizona Basketball to be able to welcome Lorenzo Romar and his family to our basketball family,” Miller said in a press release. “Lorenzo’s accomplishments in this game speak for themselves, including his successful tenure as the head coach at Washington for the last 15 seasons. However, his dedication to his players, passion for this game and impeccable character is what everybody that knows him loves about him. He will no doubt make a significant impact in all aspects of our basketball program as we continue to build and improve in all that we do.”

The 58-year-old joins Arizona with an impressive resume, having led the Washington Huskies for 15 seasons from 2002 to 2017. He was relieved of his duties following this past season, in which his team went 9-22 overall.

“Of all the potential opportunities that were out there for me, joining the Arizona program was the one that was the most appealing,” Romar said in a press release. “I truly believe Sean Miller is one of the best coaches in America. The opportunity to join him, his staff and the rich tradition of Arizona Basketball is something that I’m extremely excited about.”

While Romar’s last few seasons were not successful, he had some very good teams during his time in Washington. He took six teams to the NCAA Tournament — reaching the Sweet 16 in 2005, 2006 and 2010 — and won the conference in 2009 and 2012.

Romar is known for being an excellent recruiter, having brought potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft Markelle Fultz to Washington, as well as earning a commitment from who may be the top recruit in the 2018 class, Michael Porter, Jr., before he went to Missouri following Romar’s dismissal. He also coached NBA players Marquese Chriss, Isaiah Thomas, Nate Robinson and Brandon Roy, among others, .

Along with Washington, Romar also spent time as the head coach at St. Louis and Pepperdine. He posted a 298-195 record with the Huskies, and overall has a 391-283 mark.

Romar was a basketball letter winner at Washington from 1978-1980 before playing five seasons in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors, Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks.

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