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With Sean Miller out, will Arizona follow the trend of hiring ‘within the family’? | Yahoo Sports College Podcast

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Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Arizona’s firing of Sean Miller and if the school will follow in UNC and Indiana’s footsteps in hiring someone from ‘within the family.’

Video Transcript

DAN WETZEL: Speaking of vacation, John Miller, he's free.

PAT FORDE: He is. Long golfing vacation coming up for him.

DAN WETZEL: Yeah. He was fired. He got $1.25 million cleared. He made all this money. Four year, four full seasons since Book Richardson.

Sean is free. He'll be an NBA assistant next year, probably New Orleans. Book Richardson? No, not so lucky. Funny how that works. Nothing against Sean getting another job, but man.


DAN WETZEL: Weird timing. Why this-- why now? Why not two years ago? Four years ago? Why not next-- I don't know.

Whatever you want to do. But Sean Miller is finally set free. Pat, your thoughts? And Pete, I know you wrote a column on it.

PAT FORDE: You know, is it about time? Yeah. Is it passed time? Certainly.

What was the motivating factor other than the fact that the program had fallen and was not going to get up with Sean Miller as the coach? I think that was probably a big part of it. I have some possible theories about the like, day to day, week to week timing of this. Not really the year to year, but the week to week.

Like I had heard some pretty strong rumblings two weeks ago that he had like 48 hours. And then that didn't happen. And so this carries out a little bit more. My-- What I'm wondering, do they want to hire Tommy Lloyd, the assistant coach at Gonzaga?

And they want to get past the Final Four and try to do this quickly of going from firing Sean Miller to hiring Tommy Lloyd. Now, they also-- they're one of these places, and boy is this a continuing trend, where oh, the family. You got to talk to somebody from the family, the Lute Olson family.

You know, Mike Woodson, Hubert Davis. You know there's going to be pressure from people for Miles Simon, for Josh Pastner, for Jason Terry, for Damon Stoudamire. So there's going to be some of that involved as well. But that's why I just-- I'm wondering if the timing of waiting past the Final Four has any relation to Tommy Lloyd's potential status as a candidate.

DAN WETZEL: So Arizona is a great job, great fan base. There's improved talent in state, keeps kind of get better and better. There's a lot of good players in the Phoenix area, and obviously you can get kids out of Southern California, LA.

It should be attractive, but nobody knows what the punishment is coming. You don't know what-- how much you're going to get devastated or not. You know, is for level one infractions. What does this mean?

I don't know. No one knows. Pat, you mentioned it, got to have someone from the family tree. Look, I think you use the family tree if it means you might be able to get someone you normally wouldn't be able to get. If you can tug on their heartstrings and bring them back, then you do that.

The family tree is the dumbest thing in college sports. Why would you limit-- Why would you limit your candidate pool to only people who are A, athletically gifted enough to play at your school and chose your school? Why would you do that?

PAT FORDE: It makes no sense.


DAN WETZEL: Bill Belichick did not play in the NFL.


DAN WETZEL: You don't sit there as the Patriots and go, we've got to hire former Patriot. Like, it's just stupid to do.

PAT FORDE: I mean, it's unbelievable. It really is. Like we have regressed, it seems like, in terms of coaching search common sense three decades in the last couple of weeks, you know? Because I'm watching it at Indiana, watching it at North Carolina.

And North Carolina, at least-- the thing is, like, the head coach walking out is the guy calling the shot there. OK? That was Roy Williams calling that shot. Bubba Cunningham's like, OK, sure. If that's what you want, we'll interview four of your guys.

Roy said, go interview West Miller. Go Interview King Rice. Go Interview Hubert, go interview Steve Robinson, then just come back with Hubert. OK? Got it?

Got it, Bubba? Go. OK. You know, but the Indiana thing was crazy. If Arizona goes down this route, Hofstra just hired Speedy Claxton.

I mean, maybe that's a good hire. It's at Hofstra. He was Assistant coach there for a long time. But, you know, this is-- it's like because Juwan Howard had two great seasons, everybody needs to do this or what?

PETE THAMEL: Yeah. Well, I mean it also dovetails with the most interesting hiring trend of this cycle. And we have seen a long overdue flurry of minority hires in college basketball.

PAT FORDE: That's true.

PETE THAMEL: As you've written about a bunch in the past and it's dovetailed with the trend of hiring-- of hiring former players. And I really think that if we are going to continue to see more long overdue diversity in the college basketball coaching space, we're going to see former stars on the sideline. Like Hubert, like Speedy, like Mike Woodson who may not have the traditional paradigm background of one of the mid major, one of--

You know, the kind of guys who tend to move up the ranks in the way that we've seen the hiring-- the hiring go in the past. I don't know what the numbers are right now, but as of like five or six days ago, it was about 65% of the hirings were for African-Americans, which is, again, so long overdue.