The University of Arizona last week announced Gonzaga men’s basketball assistant coach Tommy Lloyd will be the next head coach of the Wildcat’s men’s basketball program.
The UA gave former coach Sean Miller his walking papers earlier this month.
Lloyd spent 20 seasons as the Zags assistant coach helping with recruiting efforts and developing 19 All-Americans and 15 West Coast Conference players of the year before making the move to Arizona. UA Director of Athletics Dave Heeke said he’s thrilled Lloyd is joining the Wildcat family and “re-establishing” the program back to its former elite status.
“After speaking with a tremendous pool of candidates and with so many in and out of the college basketball world, it became clear that Tommy has the passion, the experience, the knowledge, the coaching and recruiting acumen, and the drive to lead us to championships,” Heeke said. “He has been a big part of the incredible rise and success of Gonzaga Basketball and is well-respected for his partnership with that program’s head coach, Mark Few.”
Lloyd has a five-year contract with the university and will be receiving the same $2.9 million per season as his predecessor was expected to receive.
Miller was let go after serving as the Wildcats head coach for 12 seasons on April 7, but UA will still honor his existing contract.
While the coach took the men’s basketball team to seven NCAA tournaments, three Elite Eight appearances, five regular-season conference titles and three Pac-12 Tournament titles, Miller’s tenure is tarnished due to the investigation surrounding his involvement in the 2017 NCAA basketball corruption scandal. While his assistant coach, Book Richardson, served prison time for his involvement in offering players illegal pay to play for the Wildcats, Miller denied being a part of the scheme. Last October, the program and Miller were charged with five Level 1 NCAA violations due to a lack of control over the situation.
UA President Robert C. Robbins said in a release after Miller’s departure that the men’s basketball program and university “needs to write a new chapter in our history” and leadership changes were necessary to move forward.