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Greg Byrne: ‘We’re in great shape with Coach Miller’

Sean Miller will be keeping his eyes on Arizona for a while. Photo by David Kadlubowski, The Arizona Republic

Arizona Wildcats athletic director Greg Byrne isn’t ready to take a new contract, or an extension, of basketball coach Sean Miller to the state board of regents.

But he expressed confidence Wednesday that Miller is happy with his situation at Arizona.

“We’re in great shape with Coach Miller,” Byrne said at the end of a news conference to announce a new fund raising initiative.

Miller’s name was mentioned late month in connection with the North Carolina State opening. The Wolfpack filled that position Tuesday with the hiring of former Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried.

“Coach Miller wants to be the basketball coach at the University of Arizona. He made that very clear from the first time some rumors starting coming up,” Byrne said.

“He and I immediately started talking about it. I just love his honest and direct approach. … That’s why it’s good to have good, regular conversations with your coaches. We’re fortunate. We have a lot of good coaches who don’t mind me knocking on their door every once in a while.”

Arizona went 30-8 in Miller’s second season, advancing to the Elite Eight, where the Wildcats came within a 3-pointer in the final seconds of knocking off eventual champion UConn.

Byrne said Miller’s contract won’t go up for approval from the board of regents this month, as they tackle tuition issues. Perhaps in the June meetings.

In the meantime, Byrne said he and Miller are able to tell any recruits that “we’re in very good shape there,” with regard to the contract and the coach’s future in Tucson.

Miller makes $1.6 million from UA athletic department funds and $400,000 from Nike and IMG, plus performance bonuses. He signed a five-year deal in April 2009, with a two-year extension kicking in this year.

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