National voices weigh-in on Archie Miller hire

  • 03/25/2017 6:02 pm in

Archie Miller was named as the 29th head coach in program history Saturday. The hiring came after more than a week of rumors and speculation since the firing of Tom Crean on March 16.

Inside the Hall reached out to national writers across the country to get their input. Did Indiana make the right decision? Will Miller be able to handle the pressures of the Indiana job?

Here are all of the responses we received:

Eamonn Brennan,

Archie Miller is a rightfully lauded coach. It makes sense that he’d been the up-and-coming guy. When you look at the potential options Indiana had – whether those options were theoretical or practicable – I think if you’re an Indiana fan, a decision like this should make you feel a lot more confident in the direction of the program and the athletics program in general. As opposed to what I’ve criticized off and on at Indiana or at least tried to understand better, which is the whole ‘it’s gotta be someone with Indiana ties. Someone who went here is a bonus. Someone who played here. Someone who is from the state.’ It’s all well and good if those things happened to be true about the best possible coach. But if they’re not, they shouldn’t override what you end up doing. They shouldn’t determine hires. For me, hearing Fred Glass’ press conference, and who knows what has transpired in the past (nine days) since Crean was fired, but I think getting away from that idea and just going out and trying to find the best coach you can, and having the benefit of him being just down the road, not far away in Dayton, knowing the midwest well, and having recruited there.

To me, it was kind of a no-brainer. A month ago, if someone would have asked me ‘if things don’t work out for Tom Crean, who do you think the next coach will be?’ I would have said Archie Miller. And then you get into the (coaching) process and it actually happens. Every message board starts freaking out and everybody lists every conceivable candidate. People start texting each other about whether Billy Donovan is in Bloomington when he’s not. It was easy to think ‘maybe Indiana will pick something kind of crazy with their hire. Who knows here?’ But you get back down to it and it’s kind of the obvious and predictable, but sober and intelligent choice at the same time.

It’s a good hire. It seemed that there was a slight possibility that Indiana would go totally crazy and swing for the fences and try and get someone they couldn’t. Or they would go the sentimental, nostalgic, provincial route with a guy like Steve Alford, who has been coaching for a long time and his record is pretty mixed. I think that this season of UCLA being really good shouldn’t have overridden most of that. Doing what Indiana ended up doing, to me, is a decision based on coaching competence, potential, and where the program can go in the future, as opposed to where it’s been in the past.

Brian Hamilton, Sports Illustrated:

Archie is a fantastic coach. I think it’s a great move for both sides. He’s been very selective, obviously. There’s a lot of other places that would have loved to lure him from Dayton. He waited for that one great job and I think Indiana did well to identify a winner, identify a guy that gets you results. Dayton has got talent, but they were not going to be the most talented team. He was getting results and beating major conference teams regularly. To me, the most impressive thing for Indiana is that they didn’t get lured into a big name hire or get swayed by Indiana connections. They went out and just found a really really good young coach that can be there for a long time.

Because of who his brother is and how coaches are wired, he’s not going to walk into this blind. He’s not going to be naive about the expectations. I assume, when he gets up there for his press conference, he’s going to say what every coach would say, which is that he welcomes the expectations, wants to be at a place that wants to win championships. But I think he’s wired that way.

Personality-wise, he’s a hard-charging, intense guy, but I think that he’s smart enough and not too naive about what’s in store.

It’ll be interesting to see how he recruits. Maybe Indiana, when Indiana has some real good players in the state, is going to have a real good shot at getting those players. But you have to cast the net for elite players all over the country, try to convince them to come to Bloomington. I think that’s always a big leap. You’ve gotta make the connections, gotta be able make the deals that you need to do get good players to Indiana. That’s my only curiosity. Coaches have to figure that out. That’s really the only question mark. How is he going to be able to bring top-level championship caliber talent to Indiana. Even if he doesn’t, is he good enough to bring that second-tier, pretty good talent to championships?

Jon Rothstein, CBS Sports:

He’s a great guy. Archie Miller was built to coach at a place like Indiana. It’s one of the most storied programs in college basketball. He is going to embrace everything that Indiana basketball represents.

Archie’s biggest pressure is the pressure he puts on himself. He has self-induced pressure. That’s obviously the toughest type of pressure. He was brought up in a home where basketball was very personal, and I don’t think that’s going to change, whether he’s the head coach of Indiana, Dayton, or anywhere else.

Archie has been as good a basketball coach as we’ve seen in the A-10 in some time. I’m sure, for all intents and purposes, he’ll do an excellent job at Indiana.

Chris DiSano, and Blue Ribbon Yearbook

I’ve known Archie for several years through covering him in the Atlantic-10. He’s a tremendous coach. He’s heavily, heavily invested in player development. He’s very attentive to detail. He runs the type of program that many, I’m sure, will try to model. I think it’s a tremendous hire for Indiana, particularly coming off an (18-16 season). He’s the kind of guy that’s going to demand accountability from day one, yet he’s a player’s coach. He’s going to reinvigorate the fanbase and the brand itself, because that’s the type of passion and energy he brings to the job on a day-to-day basis.

When anybody gets into a job that’s certainly one of the elite or premier jobs in the country, it’s tough to empathize with that. It’s impossible to empathize with that because you haven’t been in that position before. But in terms of the way he’s refined his skills, his leadership ability, in terms of understanding what it takes to be the CEO of a program in multiple facets, from dealing with different constituencies to doing what you need to do on the floor, I think he’s as well equipped as anyone. Certainly, having seen the jump Sean made from Xavier to Arizona, and how Sean handled that, and Archie and his brother being as tight as they are and swapping stories and strategies, he’s certainly had somebody (around him) who’s been in one of those 10-15 elite jobs in the country, that he’s been able to capture advice. So I think he’s as well equipped as anybody to handle the pressure the way that it ultimately transpires. He’ll only know that once he sits in that chair.

Having gotten to know Archie personally, he’s a really good guy and person, who cares about his players and cares about his program representing the right things. He’s very authentic and genuine. Whenever you’re starting with that foundation, that’s a great place to begin.

Nicole Auerbach, USA Today

It’s a win-win on both sides. It made a ton of sense for Indiana, and it made a ton of sense for Archie Miller. What I wrote today in my initial reaction is that this is exactly the kind of job that Archie had been waiting on. He had a very good situation at Dayton. Great team and great support there. But if you want to coach a higher level that can compete for national championships on a yearly basis, you’re waiting for a really good job, an elite-level job, a blueblood. He could afford to be picky. I think this is exactly why he was so patient and why he waited as long for an opportunity at an elite job like Indiana. So to me, it makes all the sense in the world from Indiana’s standpoint. Great coach, really sharp guy, works super hard but is just a great basketball mind. But it also made a lot of sense for Archie, with his background and also his midwest ties.

It’s certainly a different kind of microscope that he’ll be under at Indiana, that he didn’t have at Dayton. You’re going to be criticized more, going to be questioned more, be expected to land really high-level recruits on a regular basis. So I am curious to see how he handles all that. But I’m sure that’s part of the appeal of challenging yourself and taking a job like this. But I do think that’s probably the most difficult part of being at a blueblood place (like Indiana) – the scrutiny and the criticism that come with it on a daily basis. You certainly see that as part of why Tom Crean is no longer at Indiana. It’s a fanbase that has very, very, very high expectations. It’s going to be very different than Dayton. But I do think that his family will help him. Sean Miller has achieved great success at Arizona. Now the Miller brothers are running two of basketball’s biggest programs with some of the most storied histories. I think Sean will be able to help him manage that or give him advice on how to handle the scrutiny that comes with a job like this.

Everyone wanted Archie the last few years. I think it was smart of him to wait for the right job in a place and position where he can win big and not just take any power five job. That was a part of the reason he had stuck at Dayton as long as he did. I think Dayton understands that from the statement they put out. They understand the caliber of job that it took to lure him away.

Rob Dauster, NBC Sports

I like it a lot. I think that it is a better move than it would have been to hire Steve Alford. I just think that Archie Miller is a better basketball coach. I understand the desire to bring Steve Alford back into the fold, to get an Indiana guy running that program. But I think Archie Miller is on that same level as his brother. I think Archie Miller has a chance to be one of the top 10 coaches in the sport. When you have the opportunity to get a guy like that, you have to go out and get him. Frankly, it doesn’t matter who is really running that program, if you want to win the fans back, the best way to do that is to actually go out and win. I think Archie is going to do just that.

I think he should (be able to handle the pressures). Dayton is not on the same scale as Indiana, but that is still a job that is kind of a little fishbowl. They don’t have any professional sports teams in Dayton. The Flyers are the big deal. Dayton Arena, I think they sell out the 14,000 people in that stadium all the time. I think he’s used to being in a bit of a fishbowl, so to speak. It is a step up, though, that’s not really a question. To go from being the best program in the A-10 to one of the best jobs in all of college basketball. I think he’ll be able to get it done. I don’t think that pressure will be an issue.

Matt Norlander, CBS Sports

Indiana made a name hire. They, in my opinion, made the right move in choosing to go with Archie over the likes of Steve Alford. Archie is considered all at once: a really fantastic recruiter, a really fantastic tactician of the game, works extremely hard, obviously is well respected within the industry. If you’re Indiana and you want to start over, and you’re trying to get the program to have the best forecast for final four consistency and national relevancy, I think Archie Miller was the best possible hire they could have made from any coach right now in college basketball.

Archie is a little close to the vest sometimes, but with his brother being a major Division I coach, coming from that family – his father was such a tough-minded coach, raised his sons well. Dayton is not without its pressures. Obviously, though, Dayton is a very different job from Indiana. I would be surprised if Archie found himself incapable of managing the expectations. He’s a very self-confident person and should be able to handle that. Obviously, that’s the biggest question, because you don’t really know the answer to that. I can say that I think he can (handle expectations) and a lot of people think it’s true that he will. We don’t really know the answer to that until he’s a good 12-18 months into the job. But you have to actually experience and go through that before you have a firm answer.

Indiana fans can expect an Indiana team that will be a lot more rugged than what Crean had. What Indiana fans can probably expect from the team and the roster going forward is that Archie is going to get really talented players. He’s probably going to be able to keep elite level talent in the state from leaving the state and get them to IU. I think he can have a tremendous blend – because of his style, recruiting ability, and the kind of player he’s succeeding with at Dayton – I actually think Indiana will have the best blend of elite level one-and-done talent and then just those indispensable, necessary four-year guys that make final four runs all the more plausible due to their experience. In some ways, you’ve gotta stay old to help you in the long run. Archie can get both of those things done.

Filed to:

  • IU Cal 1809

    I say hell with him if he don’t want to be apart of it! Give me green and jones all day.

  • Mark Bando

    Oh, I see, he is graduating early

  • See, I don’t get that. What, are we going to recycle the same handful of coaches forever? Are there really no great younger coaches out there? The best coaches have to make the jump at some point to major programs, and I’d say a guy who’s turned down major jobs over the last three years is as good a choice as any. He’s not considered one of the best young coaches in the game for nothing.

  • Having a guy who succeeded as a 5′ 9″ point guard at a major program is a great thing, I think. Not to knock TC, but I think one of his biggest weaknesses is that he never played the game in college.

  • StolenUpVotes

    Sure hoping your right old fart

  • Lots of vetting, I imagine. Digging into everything about the guy that’s not common public knowledge.

  • iugradmark

    Agree. I actually think that gives him an edge. There is a part of the game that is best understood from having played it.

  • StolenUpVotes

    I’m not saying he isn’t the guy. I’m saying I don’t think they are that comparable due to that.

  • Such a guy can also relate better with players.

  • iugradmark

    Agree. They were going to make sure that there wasn’t something that would bite them later. Also, IU was in the driver seat once he didn’t show interest in NC State. By all accounts, he was going to wait for a prime job before leaving Dayton and IU was the only option. I think they could afford to take their time.

  • marcusgresham

    I think it was a very valid comment. If you were getting a guy from another higher-level program you’re either going to have pry away someone who is having success at a similar school (and why would he leave that situation,) or you’re going to get a re-tread who has had marginal success (like Alford.)

  • iugradmark

    I was surprised to see a comment that JBJ would have come back if Alford was coach. I don’t have a problem with that but just don’t see him wanting to risk another year of injuries for any college coach.

  • marcusgresham

    Not only does he have more potential, even if he’s on an even par with Alford he’s about 15 years younger.

  • I don’t think the times have changed all that much. That’s a bit of a canard, I think. All great coaches started as young coaches, and that’s not going to change. I mean, how could it, exactly?

  • Jeff Crowder

    Here’s my defense of Glass. Miller has turned down multiple jobs since making the Elite Eight in 2014. He IS the up and coming coach. MI checked like Bill Self, Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens were at one point. Glass knew what he wanted: young, with success, and an ability to be competitive with lesser talent. With IUs resources Miller can prove an incredible hire. Miller meets those criteria. I personally don’t think Alford or Donovan were ever contacted for a reason. Glass wanted someone to be able to build their legacy at IU. Of course I have no idea, but that’s my best guess.

  • marcusgresham

    When Crean was hired, that was the accurate thing to say about him. No he didn’t reach the level of success we all wanted, but he took on a hell of a difficult job, worked tirelessly to do it, and brought the program out of the abyss.

  • marcusgresham

    I agree. I feel like the same people who said Crean only had success at Marquette because he had Dwyane Wade are the ones looking down on Miller for not having higher-level recruits.

    Speaking of which….any of you New Albany people have Romeo’s phone number.? Coach Miller needs it.

  • marcusgresham

    …and UCLA.

    And while we’re working on the schedule, why doesn’t FG just say from here on out we won’t be bringing anyone to the Hall with a 250+ RPI?

  • marcusgresham

    It should be played in Milwaukee because “It’s Miller Time!”

  • Zora Clevenger

    You’re right about that. McCracken had only coached at Ball State before he made IU into the great program it remains. Other coaches have been successful, but they all have owed their success here to the program McCracken made great.

  • marcusgresham

    I’ve never been told that. I know someone who works with his mother, and she’s given no indication of any choice at this time.

  • marcusgresham

    I’m sure he was the lead recruiter on some of Arizona’s better players when he was there.

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t think for a second that he lacks the ability. Maybe now he’ll have the motivation.

  • I won’t confuse the issue with Crean’s credentials 9 years ago. Let’s just focus on available college coaches. My opinion is White and Holtman were better coaches because objectively they their teams had better statistical numbers both offensively and defensively, and they did it against tougher opponents than Dayton.

  • J.R.

    He has an impeccable reputation at Dayton. We’d be delighted if he had a change of heart!

  • J.R.

    We’re hoping the Greek Freak’s brother sticks around and doesn’t follow Archie to IU.

  • J.R.

    As a UD grad and former women’s player, its interesting to read these comments and see so many IU fans disappointed in the hire…meanwhile our hearts are breaking in Dayton.

  • Can’t remember who said it, but whoever it was, he was pretty convinced. But hey, if the chance remains, then I’m thinking Archie will have a good shot.

  • Missing Moye

    I think those people are in the minority and most of us are very happy to have Coach Miller here. I’m also guessing that most of those same people who are not happy with this hire will warm up to him quickly. UD doesn’t get a lot of media coverage, so people just aren’t aware of what we’re getting.

    And in all fairness, some of the fanbase had their sights really set high on the likes of Brad Stevens or Billy Donovan. That was probably never realistic, but given that mindset, Archie is a step down from those guys.

  • Well, here’s one long-time IU fan who’s ecstatic with the hire, and my sympathies to you and everyone else in Dayton. You all sound like a great fan base, I wish you all the best going forward.

  • RMK Assembly Hall

    I think it’s mostly positive here. Don’t worry though. Miller set the ground work for more good things for Dayton. He has elevated the program. Often these mid major programs follow up with really good hires after they lose a good one like Archie. I bet they continue to play in NCAA Tourneys. I hope that they give Dane Fife a call.

  • Missing Moye

    I really do feel bad for them. Not only are they losing a great coach, but they have 4 senior starters that graduated, and one of their best recruiting classes (maybe ever) set to come in this year and now that is up in the air. It could definitely be a major set back to their program.

  • RMK Assembly Hall


  • Yep, I hear you.

  • Missing Moye

    But they also did it with way more talent.

  • Larry Brown

    if you use that argument, then no one at a mid-major can ever get into coaching at a major school

  • Larry Brown

    actually a very good comparison. You never know which mid-major coach is going to be the next Knight,, the next Pitino, the next Calipari. Look, I’m sure Glass called Stevens first. Then called Donovan, and perhaps Alford. All declined interest. So who else could he have chosen? This guy is the best of all the rest, cording to all kinds of sourced, and may turn out to be as good or better than the ones above-mentioned

  • pdhoosier

    But in power conferences, with pretty solid foundations both in the literal and figurative senses set by predecessors, and consequently a higher talent pool. I love both of the options so no argument in that regard. But no way holtman leaves to go coach one of the other “big four” in the state plus have to play against every other year. But I’d definitely take white. Love the hire though.

  • rob salway

    Go to crimsoncast and read their article “Where do coaches come from?”. That might make you feel better. Truth is that most great coaches weren’t known to be great coaches when they got hired. They became great coaches because they were given the resources and opportunity to prove themselves. IU has the resources and Miller has been given the opportunity.

  • Tonald Drump

    Thanks. Now Ohio State can hire Chris Mack, who just beat Archie’s older brother.

  • IU Hoosiers 15

    I love the hire. To everyone not happy with it, just think about what you want. You probably want the next great coach like Coach K, Bob Knight, John Wooden, etc. most all of the great coaches start at a mid major or are promoted after being assistants.

    For the people wanting Steve Alford and coming from an IU fan who began his fandom in 2011 (I was an out of state IU student and my first game ever was the UK game so I don’t have the long history as a fan), I understand your want for an IU/Bob Knight guy but…

    Steve Alford – 22 seasons D1 Head Coaching Experience. 10 NCAA tournaments made (45%) and the furthest he’s advanced is the Sweet 16. Not to mention he had a team loaded with talent this year and couldn’t get past the sweet 16 this year (reminds me of 2012-13 IU)

    Archie Miller – 6 seasons D1 head coaching experience. 4 NCAA tournaments made (66%) and the furthest he’s advanced is the Elite 8.

    Just look at that and tell me who’s most likely to blossom into a great all time coach based on the broad resume. With Alford I feel like we have the data set to know what kind of coach he is and he’d have been TC all over again – a guy who could recruit well but isn’t going to get you far and isn’t a great X’s and O’s guy.

    The most exciting part about Archie will be having a coach that can actually coach and make adjustments in the game. Archie will single handily win games for us rather than throwing out talent on the floor and hoping the game plan works.

    If you want to complain about picking the wrong young coach that’s a matter of opinion and only time will tell but if you’re arguing that we should have done anything to get Alford I just hope you’ll look at the facts rather than yelling “Fire Archie!” before he’s even coached a single game.

  • N71

    Yeah, I was wonder if you were Archie what’s your priority list look like.
    1) Agree, meet with players/recruits and share your plan to see if they are ‘in’
    2) Make a short list for both 2017 and 2018 targets considering your ‘plan’
    3) Fill out your staff considering your ‘plan’
    4) Develop approach for the summer considering your ‘plan’

  • N71

    If I were an incoming coach and an ex point guard at NCS I’d put a priority on point guard play. Today, I have a senior, 3 year Big Ten starter on my team that at times is a beast. I’d do everything I could think of to keep Rob if possible. Rob could have a season like Frank Mason is having. My rising star is Devonte.

  • Ole Man

    Great post.

  • Ole Man

    White might or might not be. He doesn’t have enough record to say as yet.
    Holtman might be on a par with him. Not sure.
    One season’s stats don’t mean much.
    And the stats are adjusted for the strength of the schedule. You did know that?

  • Ole Man

    No need for name calling.

  • IUfanforever

    If Donovan and Stevens both turn the job down… then Archie Miller was the only other choice. We must give him a chance….he has a much better pedigree than Crean as far as X’s & O’s. if he can recruit this State and get our home boys…especially with the likes of Romeo Langford then all will be well in B-Town again.

  • pcantidote

    As with everything, you are seeing a vocal minority. These are mostly simple minded folks who were going to hate any decision that didn’t involve bringing unproven and unsuccessful Steve home. The vast majority of the fan base is thrilled with this, or at least cautiously optimistic.

  • pcantidote

    Got any info on that recruiting class? Was wondering about that. We might end up needing a few players you know.

  • Hardwood83

    Consider him? Of course, lock in on him to the exclusion of everyone else, including those vastly more qualified? No. Besides, who is this 54 yr old guy? Donovan is 51 and I haven’t seen him say he hates recruiting. But I get it, you’d prefer Archie Miller’s 2 Atlantic 10 conference champs over 2 NC and 2 other Final Fours, etc. Guess we’ll disagree on that point.

    Also, Donovan and Miller aren’t the only 2 coaches in the world.

    Anyway,IMO the gist is Miller needs to get it done right away or else he and Glass have to go. No honeymoon.