“It’s pretty sweet.”
That was Lorenzo Romar describing what it was like to be wearing an “Arizona Basketball Never Stops” t-shirt at his introductory press conference as the Arizona Wildcats’ new associate head coach.
That’s how most Arizona fans feel about hiring a guy to this position with so much head coaching experience as well.
“This is an exciting time for myself,” Romar stated. “You always have exciting times here at The University of Arizona, but Sean (Miller) and his staff and the people surrounding him have just been great.”
But how long will Romar stay out of the head coaching biz to be in Tucson?
“I am not coming here thinking ‘Ok I’ll put up with this for a few months so that I can get my head job’,” Romar stated at Thursday’s press conference. “No, that’s not my train of thought. I’m here, I’m locked in and just going to see what happens.”
“But I’m not in a hurry to get away from this situation.”
After being fired by Washington on March 15th, he received a $3.2 million buyout from UW, and will now make $400k per year with Arizona according to records obtained by the Daily Star.
So Romar’s obviously not in Tucson for the money. He really just wanted something to do.
“I sat around for about three weeks, and that’s not a whole lot of fun just sitting around,” Romar said. “My wife and I were talking about this: you’re talking 40+ years that you’re part of a team, you’re part of something like that.”
“I wasn’t thinking that I would go as an assistant in college,” Romar said about when Miller first approached him about this opportunity. “But I have a lot of respect for Sean and even though we’ve been competing against The University of Arizona for so many years at the couple different schools I’ve worked, we’ve always had that respect for the Arizona program.”
“As I really thought about it I got really excited about the opportunity.”
This also allowed him to stay around a team as opposed to going into TV or something else outside of basketball coaching.
“The broadcasting thing, sometimes you can go and come back, but you don’t have that interaction every day,” Romar explained about avoiding TV. “To be able to take a kid and a team from Point A to Point B throughout a season is something that’s very rewarding, something you look forward to doing. Every day is a new adventure so to speak, so sitting out I wouldn’t have been able to experience any of that.”
“Given the opportunity of where it was, who it was for, I thought it was far better for me than sitting out.”
Romar did say that there were “small little feelers” of other head coaching opportunities, but nothing that materialized for him.
“Oh yeah,” he responded when asked if he wants to be a head coach again. “We’ll see, but the thing about this is I’ve talked to many assistants before. A lot of times — especially if they haven’t been a head coach before — they just can’t wait to get a head coaching job, and sometimes they prematurely take one that may not be the best situation for them.”
“I’ve done it before,” Romar added about responding to in-game situations as an assistant as opposed to a head coach. “Again I’m here to help, I’m not here to run things. There’s someone here that does a fantastic job of running things in Sean MIller, so I’m here to help and on the bench I’m sure there will be times that I want to jump up, but I know my role and I’m just here to help.”
No matter how much experience Romar has, even compared to his new boss, he still feels like he’ll be able to gather some new info around the Arizona program.
“There is no doubt I’m going to be able to learn from Sean and his staff,” said Romar. “He’s too good of a coach. He crosses his t’s, dots his i’s, he’s very organized.
“There’s no doubt I’m going to learn from that component.”