Around the Hall: With Archie Miller, IU gets ahead in youth movement

  • 04/01/2017 9:57 am in

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall staff.

Mike Lopresti of The Indianapolis Business Journal writes that Indiana got ahead in the youth movement with its hiring of Archie Miller:

In short, Indiana is moving into the future with this fresh face—not that Tom Crean was a geezer at 51—and that is an issue that will soon be sweeping over the sport as a whole. College basketball coaching is on the very brink of a mass changing of the guard, and we’re talking the elite of the elite.

Look around. Jim Boeheim is 72.

Mike Krzyzewski is 70.

Roy Williams is 66.

Rick Pitino and John Beilein are 64.

Tom Izzo is 62.

It won’t be long before the torch will have to be passed by the traditional powers of college basketball, and the dominoes in the coaching line will start to fall, as the legends retire and are replaced by men down the food chain, whose positions will then have to be filled, and so on.

Former Indiana coach Bob Knight endorses Archie Miller, according to Fox59:

As Knight told it, he called up longtime Dayton coach Don Donoher, the Flyers’ all-time winningest coach. Donoher was also on Knight’s staff as an assistant coach during the 1984 Summer Olympics. That team won a gold medal. Needless to say, Donoher’s opinion holds sway when it comes to Miller.

While Miller’s tenure at Dayton was short in comparison—he stayed for six seasons while Donoher coached the Flyers from 1964 to 1989—he acquitted himself well, directing the team to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and winning at least a share of two Atlantic 10 regular-season titles. Miller guided the Flyers to the Elite Eight in 2014.

His success definitely got Donoher’s attention.

“Without any reservation, [Donoher] said, ‘I think you and the people at Indiana will really like the way this coach goes about things,’” Knight said. “‘He’s no-nonsense, he’s tough, smart, and he wants to win.’”

Former Indiana coach Tom Crean has joined ESPN for its Final Four coverage this weekend in Phoenix:

Former Indiana coach Tom Crean will be back at work during the Final Four. Crean was fired from Indiana University after the Big Ten Tournament for not reaching this year’s NCAA Tournament.  He’ll be part of ESPN’s coverage this weekend all the way through to the National Championship Game.

By bringing Crean on board for the weekend, it serves two purposes. One, ESPN gets a well-known name for its Final Four coverage, someone who has coached a team into the event with Marquette in 2003. And two, it allows Crean to hobnob with his fellow coaches and also potentially meet with prospective employers who might have openings for next season.

Mark Titus of The Ringer writes that Archie Miller embraces the mythology of Indiana basketball:

Miller essentially checked every box that an Indiana fan would want, to the point that it felt like he met with a bunch of fans before his press conference and asked what they thought were the most important characteristics of the program. And yeah, I know his job here was akin to that of a politician and that he didn’t say anything particularly original. It’s not like he was going to say that hard work is overrated, toughness is dumb, and he’ll never give a damn about his players. But even if you felt his entire message was rah-rah hokey bullshit, I can assure you that rah-rah hokey bullshit is exactly what Indiana fans love the most. It feeds into our perception of what Indiana basketball really is: a team full of underdogs working together to beat a vastly more talented opponent who doesn’t want it as much. Later in his press conference, Miller further pushed the Hoosiers ethos.

“I think it’s kind of simple: I’m just like everyone here,” Miller said. “I want everybody to have that feel as we keep moving forward, that someone really respects the way that the state operates, that the kids in this state, the high school coaches, the families … they all grow up wanting to be here. And for me, I hope to be able to represent it in a big way.”

Miller has coached in nearby Ohio or Kentucky for eight of the 14 years that he’s been in the business, and has a long history of recruiting Indiana that should only get stronger. He said “the term that we’ll use [when it comes to recruiting] is called ‘inside-out.’ We have to start inside this state of Indiana and we have to start moving outside very slowly, because the footprint is there.” It’s a subtle thing, but the way he talks about Indiana?—?the state, not the university?—?is a massive deal, and he knows it will win fans over.

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  • MoBanners

    BREAKING NEWS: Bobby Knight has finally done something in the last 20 years that does not make him seem like an awful, bitter man.

  • Ms hoosier

    Man…. The publicity and notoriety that Archie is bringing to IU has got to cause some of these top recruits to take a look at IU!!

  • We’reAllForYou82

    Lopresti’s point about a young and up and coming coach is yuge for us and our recruiting. It is happening in all big time sports right now. Way to go Fred Glass

  • We’reAllForYou82

    The Titus article is really good too, imo. Here is my favorite quote,

    “The way Indiana fans see it, the problem isn’t that an unruly fan base starved for success has perpetuated unrealistic expectations that every coach since Bob Knight has struggled to meet. It’s that the fan base is so starved for success because the coaches after Knight have all struggled.”

    Time will tell, and it may not happen overnight, but I see CArchie fixing the brand of basketball we have been playing around here while still running a clean, healthy program.

  • TomJameson

    I’m thinking that when all those “old geezer” coaches retire, IU will have one of the top elite CBB coaches. I can see the IU nation being very happy for the next 25-30 years, with the BB program under Archie’s control.

  • Michael Rizzo

    You know Archie was not my front runner for the coaching job. (There were a few “unlikely” candidates ahead of him.
    The more I read about him, the more I like the hire. No one is ever going to question his “fire in the belly” and hunger to win.
    He has a chip on his shoulder and an edgy aggressiveness that I really like.

    There’s something about a 5’9″ guy that played D1 ball in you KNOW he had to develop a really high basketball IQ-cause you can’t coach height.

    The more I see the hard nosed going to be aggressive about everything (recruiting, development, coaching, etc.) the more I think is is the right guy for a long time.

    I will never question Crean’s ethics or motivation-by every account he is a great stand up guy and was willing to take on the dumpster fire that was IU. I appreciate the guy a ton-but for all the turnover and defensive woes I always wondered about how aggressive he was coaching up performance.

    Bottom line is so far I’m loving what Archie is bringing.

  • Lance76

    For RMK to endorse Archie is very reassuring to part of this fan base. RMK has had a few issues (lets not discuss this here and now) but the man knows basketball.. Question—-How long until Archie gets his first technical foul?

  • Ms hoosier

    I bet he gets more T’s his first year than Crean got in 9 years!!

  • plane1972

    As usual, I agree with your point here, Tom. However, I do wonder if we see the next generation coaching that long now with the rigors of coaching and immense money these days. It seems the lifespan of careers is likely to shorten.

  • I think it’s interesting how Archie’s a guy who, the more you learn about him, the more you like him, and a lot of people who preferred, e.g., Donovan, are coming around.

  • Yep. I made a similar comment a while back about dook. Assuming IU was going to make a reasonably good hire with a relatively young guy, it’s the current powerhouses that will be flailing around over the next decade in all likelihood, and I expect dook to be the hardest hit. Maybe not as badly as IU in the 21st century, but they’re due for a serious shot to the system and won’t be nearly as successful as they’ve been in the past. Fingers crossed.

  • cbags05

    Was talking with my dad about how exciting it is and he didn’t want to hear any of it….”he has to win. Until then what’s the point talking about it”. LOL

  • “What’s the point…”? Well, I just… I mean… I just… Tell your dad that, heck, he’s probably right. But what else are we supposed to do between now and next season?

  • That was precisely my hope back when I was somewhat in the minority calling for a younger coach who could come into the program and build a long-term legacy. Needless to say, the choice has me tickled pink.

  • I’m going to say this isn’t true. The more things change, the more they stay the same, and all that. I think the notion that college basketball has changed so much is overblown — just like I suspect that with the relative dearth of real success with one-and-done programs (that is, lack of national championships), things are going to swing back to teams built with solid, experienced players.

  • TomJameson

    I think the “retirement age” of elite CBB coaches won’t really change much. If you think about it, those are the coaches who are wildly successful, but also the ones who are real workhorses … and love it. That’s the kind of coach I see in Archie. Knowledgeable, works hard, and loves it. A basketball guy.

  • Koko

    I think it will be in his first B1G game.

  • Outoftheloop

    Let’s put a $10 million “buy-out” on Archie right now!

  • Jim Miller

    If he has never coached in a Ted Valentine game thats a good candidate for the first one.

  • AndyCapp

    I can practically FEEL the locusts! 😉

  • AndyCapp

    Of course ESPN, at least in the presser re-published above, states that Crean was fired “for not reaching this year’s NCAA Tournament”. Was THAT the reason… I don’t remember that being the center point of Glass’ rationale!?! It’s no wonder their network ratings are blowing with this kind of inflammatory editorializing.

  • marcusgresham

    Football? Even that is looking up!

  • Seriously. I can’t remember the last time I was actually looking forward to an IU football season.


    LOL, I’d try and explain it to the few that don’t get it, but…well you know….


    And that will be a welcome sight….if done the right way, for the right reasons and at the right time. People that say that it has no effect on the game, even when done in the way I stated above ,have been at, or analyzed games, a whole lot different than I coached in.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    There is ample evidence for your point in the B1G alone!

  • TomJameson

    Haha … don’t assume it’s not already done. 🙂

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    You know, I felt the same way until I watched the WSU, Dayton game in the NCAA’s this year.
    The way his team went after it, I could see the desire to win that had been absent at IU for a while.
    He was immediately in my top 2!

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    That and the way they schedule games!

  • Michael Rizzo

    When was the last year that IU made a football bowl game and missed the NCAA tourney?
    I have no clue-other than 2017 these are strange days we live in.

  • Veritas238

    Coach K is really 70?

  • I just had to look it up… Happened in ’68 (Rose Bowl year) and ’79 (Holiday Bowl). Otherwise, yes, 2017 was the only year the football team went to a bowl and the basketball team didn’t make it into the NCAA tourney.

  • Doug Wilson

    his first Championship game was in 1980 against Louisville!

  • Doug Wilson

    Look at BB index, Duke was successfull before Coach K… He just came in and finally won Championships.

  • AndyCapp

    LOL, just glad SOMEONE got it 😉

  • Hardwood83

    Ahem- ’86

  • themarcusallen

    Single class high school basketball would help bring back pride in “Indiana basketball.” Now it’s just like everywhere else….and the kids go…everywhere else!

  • same as IU in a way, pre-Knight