Jay Bilas: ‘Pipe dream to believe’ a coach like Sean Miller couldn’t leave Tucson
Earlier this week, Jim Boeheim notched his 900th career victory as a Division 1 head coach, becoming just the third coach in the history of college basketball to achieve the feat.
Arguably more astounding, is that Boeheim is the only member of the elite club — Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski being the others — to win all 900 with one school (Syracuse University). In an age of college sports, where recruiting resources and television deals have become almost as important to coaches as the end result, Boeheim’s accomplishment raises a serious question: Will there ever be another coach who creates his entire legacy at one school?
As it relates to the local sports scene, Sean Miller is already carving quite a legacy for himself down in Tucson. Now in his fourth season as the head coach of the Arizona men’s basketball team, Miller has done a remarkable job picking up the pieces of a program in transition after the departure of famed coach Lute Olsen.
As UA’s coach, Miller has accumulated a 78-35 record, led the Wildcats to two postseason appearances (Elite Eight in 2010-11 and NIT First Round in 2011-12), and currently has the program off to its best start (ranked No. 4 in the country) since 1987-88.
However, Miller is not in his first rodeo, having previously led Xavier University (A-10 conference) to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 2005-2009.
So as Miller continues to build Arizona’s program to an elite status both within the Pac-12 conference and nationally, should UA fans be concerned that the Pennsylvania native might bolt for greener pastures, or more specifically East Coast pastures, if another school came calling?
“I think you always have to be worried about that,” ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns & Gambo Wednesday. “I don’t think [Miller] is going anywhere, I’m not suggesting that, but what I’m saying is that I think it’s a pipe dream to believe that nobody’s ever going to leave anymore.”