Coaching search profile: Archie Miller

  • 03/20/2017 1:35 pm in

After nine seasons in Bloomington, Tom Crean is out as Indiana’s head coach and the search for his replacement is underway.

Inside the Hall will profile some of the candidates who are being discussed for the job over the coming days. Our third profile takes a closer look at Dayton coach Archie Miller.

If you’re making a list of the best young coaches in America, your list includes Archie Miller.

Miller, who played point guard at North Carolina State, began his coaching career as an assistant coach under Darrin Horn at Western Kentucky. The 38-year old had stints as an assistant at NC State, Arizona State, Ohio State and Arizona before landing the Dayton job in 2011.

Under Miller’s guidance, Dayton has flourished. The Flyers have reached the NCAA tournament four consecutive seasons, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 2014.

This season, Dayton won the outright regular season Atlantic 10 championship and earned a No. 7 seed in the South region. Miller was named the league’s coach of the year. His reward for a great regular season? A first round matchup with Wichita State. The Flyers lost 64-58.

There’s no questioning Miller knows how to build a winning program. In six seasons at Dayton, his winning percentage is 68.8 percent. In conference games, he’s won at a 66.7 percent clip.

So what’s next for Miller? A bigger stage.

He had a chance to jump to his alma mater this spring, but didn’t take it. That suggests he’s waiting for the right opportunity to come along. One of those jobs could be Ohio State, which would be a natural fit for Miller because he spent time there under Thad Matta and already recruits in Ohio.

Another job that could interest Miller, of course, is Indiana. He was asked about the opening following his team’s loss to Wichita State and had no comment.

With his age, familiarity with the Midwest and ability to build strong defensive teams, Miller will be a great long term solution for the program that eventually pries him away from Dayton. While Dayton is a private school, it’s believed that he earns in the $2 million range annually, which is an elite salary at the Atlantic 10 level.

What Dayton can’t offer that Indiana can, however, is the opportunity to build a national powerhouse with elite resources. As Fred Glass said in his press conference on Thursday, the school is hungry to win at an elite level and is willing to commit the resources to doing so.

Final Analysis: Miller might be young, but he’s a proven commodity. He’s been an assistant under several elite head coaches (Thad Matta, Sean Miller) across the country and has coached in the USA Basketball system as well. Dayton has finished in the top 40 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency the last three seasons, according to Ken Pomeroy. And that’s with talent that is a step below what Miller would have access to at the high major level.

The son of a coach and the brother of Arizona’s head coach (Sean), it’s only a matter of time before Archie’s time to move up to the next level in the profession comes. Will Indiana be that opportunity?

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  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    Proven – By that I mean that the coach has had success at a major or upper mid-major program. Proven national champion like Billy Donovan or proven coach that can get the talent and still coaches well such as Chris Mack or Greg Marshal.

    We are in a different situation with this coaching change as we were previously. Know coach was going to succeed after RMK and Mike Davis did a pretty good job overall but he was hired to prevent a player revolt he had some success and then was strun along. Sampson destroyed our program and not many people even wanted the job after he was fired. CTC brought us to respectability but could not take us to the promise land.

    We are poised right now to do something great because we are not in the same situation as we were with the hire of previous coaches. But we haven’t been relevant in a long time. So it in my view that this hire has to be a home-run.

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    When RMK took over Lou Watson was not involved with Scandal and Branch was the previous coach. So they were still in a good position to take a chance on RMK. Which turned out to work favorably. You cannot say that for IU today and all I am trying to say is this hire is more critical then previous hires.

  • Miller’s teams have improved every year record wise and getting to the tournament 4 straight times is no small feat. And you don’t mention the obvious, he’s coaching Dayton which has limited resource, no name recognition and certainly no elite players.
    We have to face the facts that we’re not going to get a sure thing. Only sure things would be Stevens or Donovan and neither is coming. So we can hire a bigger name coach with very little upside or take a chance on an up and comer like Miller. He’s not a sure thing but given his age if he pans out he could be the coach for the next 25 years. I’d be very happy with him as a hire.

  • Arch Puddington

    Yeah, I’m coming around on Miller. Plenty to like, and I’d rather have him despite whatever uncertainty he represents than the certainty of mediocrity we are trying to leave behind.

  • VAHoosier

    I am increasingly skeptical of Bennett as I consider his prowess as an offensive coach. That Florida game last week was sort of the clincher. His teams just can’t score.

  • VAHoosier

    What are thoughts on his ability to recruit Indiana? He has no connection here that I know of, so he would be starting from scratch. His hire would demand very strategic and thoughtful asst. coaching hires. Also, his dad being the AD at Duke has me concerned about whether he might be a candidate for Duke’s job someday.

  • VAHoosier

    Funny nobody really even talks about Mark Few anymore. I think he has turned down so many job offers that he just off people’s radar. But I agree Few would be a good get.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    It may take him more time to foster relationships with HS and AAU coaches in Indiana than some other candidates, but I believe he would be able to recruit the state well. I am a guy who just wants the best players in our program regardless of what state they call home, though. I’d guess that the first couple of seasons at IU, his rosters wouldn’t have as many Indiana born players.

    RE: Duke – I didn’t know that, and that is something to consider. From what I understand, however, Coach K has already picked his successor. Also, there are many other candidates from the Coach K tree that would want to throw their hat into the ring. I’d imagine that Duke’s president and board wouldn’t allow the AD to hire his son due to nepotism laws, though.

  • IUBizmark

    I’m all aboard that Mike White hype train if we’re looking for a young, talented head coach.

  • AssemblyBall

    Last 5 year coach comparison using KenPom:
    Coach A: 119-50 (70%), overall 50, offense 67, defense 61, SOS 82
    Coach B: 125-50 (71%), overall 32, offense 31, defense 62, SOS 40
    Coach C (unlikely, but for comparison): 151-30 (83%), overall 11, offense 15, defense 17, SOS 42
    Coach D: 130-47 (73%), overall 47, offense 92, defense 34, SOS 120

    A is Archie, B is Alford, C is Sean Miller, D is Mike White. White’s 2
    years at Florida have been impressive. Alford holds up ok. Archie
    doesn’t look quite as good. Sean Miller shows what elite looks like. I could see the hire being out of left field though.

  • Braxdon X

    Did you happen to catch their tournament games against Kentucky? Granted, they didn’t come out on top, but going punch for punch with that kind of talent discrepancy should not be overlooked. Marshall’s run to the final four in ’13 was not the benefit of lucky breaks either, he beat legit coaches along the way and nearly knocked out Pitino and the eventual champs.

    Bottom line is this guy is consistent and his teams are always fundamentally sound on both sides of the ball. I can’t stand the NBA and I don’t enjoy watching Kentucky/UNC/Kelvin Sampson/Tom Cream brand of up and down, fast paced, turnover riddled garbage. IU is better than that, and our reputations was built with the opposite brand of basketball from what you desire. If people wanted to see more of the same, they would have shown up to Assembly at the end of the season to see that disorganized, selfish train wreck of up-tempo ball that Crean had going. They didn’t, he’s gone, and it’s time for something new and better.

  • Ole Man

    He can coach. No one is arguing that.

    He cannot recruit at the level that IU requires. Sorry, but his arrogant personality would turn off today’s 4 and 5 stars, the AAU coaches, and the HS coaches.
    He would be a disaster at IU.

  • Braxdon X

    I disagree that it’s a necessity to have a heavy dose of 4/5 star recruits regularly, but that is dependent upon the program being based on a long term, established system. You need a base of solid 3 star guys that will be four year players, which gives you strong senior classes year in, year out. This was something sorely missed during the latter half of the CTC tenure. On top of that, maintaining in state guys that are McDonald’s all-american types will be critical, and again, something we didn’t have with CTC. I understand where you’re coming from in wanting that type of team/program like the UNC/KU/Duke model, but I feel like Nova last year and even what Louisville does (strictly in the way Pitino’s team’s are formed) is a winning model and one that could be more easily replicated in Bloomington.
    Hell, just look at what Butler has been able to do over the last decade. They haven’t required 5* guys, they just have a system and coaches that know how to get the best out of their players. That’s why I’m a #MarshallGuy. And his personality will be irrelevant on the recruiting trail if the program is winning “bigly.”

  • Arch Puddington

    How about this guy:

    152-29 (84%)
    Overall: 11
    AdjO: 30
    AdjD: 15

    Throw in 4 conference titles, two conference tourney titles, and a Final Four. And all five starters returning next year.

    Gregg Marshall.

  • Schmolik

    Archie was passed over at both Illinois and NC State, his alma mater, and both hired coaches nowhere near the level of Miller. It would be totally unfair if Archie was stuck at Dayton (unless he wants to stay there) so I’m hoping for his sake IU takes him (although that would hurt my Illini).