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Xavier coach passes on UA?

Citizen Staff Writer



Arizona’s search to replace Lute Olson continued Monday after Xavier’s Sean Miller became the second basketball coach to reject the Wildcats.

Miller, 40, one of the nation’s top young coaches, told FoxSports.com late Sunday he would stay at Xavier. USC’s Tim Floyd spurned UA on Thursday.

UA Athletics Director Jim Livengood and school President Robert Shelton met Miller in New Mexico on Sunday. But after returning to Cincinnati on UA booster Paul Weitman’s plane, Miller met with family and decided to stay, FoxSports reported.

Arizona may turn next to Utah coach Jim Boylen, FoxSports.com reported.

Boylen, 43, whose team lost to UA in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last month, coached under Michigan State’s Jud Heathcote and Tom Izzo and spent 13 seasons as an assistant in the NBA, including the Houston Rockets.

Ex-New Mexico State and NBA coach Reggie Theus has told the Citizen he’s interested in the UA job, while ex-UA assistant Josh Pastner, now with Kentucky, received support from ex-Wildcats.

Miller could not be reached for comment Sunday night, and his voice mail was full. Neither Livengood nor Shelton returned messages left by the Citizen.

Last year Miller signed a contract extension at Xavier through the 2017-18 season, reportedly worth more than $800,000 a year. It’s unclear how much UA offered, but FoxSports.com reported it was at least $2 million a year.

“All I can confirm at this moment is that I remain very optimistic that Sean Miller will be Xavier’s head basketball coach as we move forward,” athletic director Mike Bobinski said in a text message sent late Sunday.

Xavier advanced to the Sweet 16 this season before losing 60-55 to top-seeded Pittsburgh. Xavier reached the Elite Eight last season before falling to UCLA.


UA might focus on Utah coach Jim Boylen, 43, who has a 42-25 record in two seasons with the Utes.

Boylen was Michigan State’s Tom Izzo’s top assistant from 2005-2007 and helped Houston win two NBA titles.


USC’s Tim Floyd and Xavier’s Sean Miller publicly turned down offers. Others who UA may have informally sought were Mark Few (Gonzaga), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), John Calipari (Kentucky), Jeff Capel (Oklahoma), Bruce Pearl (Tennessee) and Izzo.

• In Sports: Reggie Geary continues to recruit for UA. Gimino column, 1C

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