Every time the Pittsburgh Panthers’ head coaching job is available, Sean Miller’s name is floated as a potential candidate.
After all, he played point guard there from 1987 to 1992, and is one of the most recognizable coaches in college basketball.
Pitt even pursued Miller two years ago after Jamie Dixon left for TCU, but Miller opted to stay at Arizona.
Now Pitt is back on the search for a new head coach after two unsuccessful seasons with Kevin Stallings at the helm, and it appears Miller has legitimate interest this time.
Sources told Pittsburgh Sports Now that “intermediaries have reached out to Pitt on Miller’s behalf to express his interest in the job.”
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, who is well-connected in the Arizona program, told PSN that he thinks Miller would go to Pitt if Pitt wants him.
“I think Sean Miller would go to Pittsburgh if Pittsburgh would take him. That sounds insane that I’m even saying that. But the bottom line is that a lot of things are rolling around Sean Miller right now which makes it tough to take a risk on him right now especially from somebody like Heather Lyke who’s so compliance heavy in her background. I don’t know who ultimately makes the call here. Is it going to be Heather Lyke? Is it going to be someone above her? Will somebody sign off on them going after Sean Miller? I don’t know but if it’s me, I would roll the dice on Sean Miller. I would, I’d roll the dice. I’d say you know what, we’ll take a shot at bringing him home and if in a year something comes out FBI related, then we’ll have to make another move. But in that year, my guess is that Sean Miller makes that program better. Remember to that we don’t know until we hear the audio if Sean Miller did anything wrong yet or illegal. We don’t know. So that’s a part of it too We don’t know. It does make it harder to hire him but to me, you’re innocent until proven guilty.
Normally, a move from Arizona to Pitt would be considered a downgrade, hence why Miller turned the Panthers down a couple years ago.
But the Arizona program is currently marred by the federal investigation into college basketball and ESPN’s wiretap report — the result of Miller’s coaching staff, mind you — so it is understandable why Miller might want to hit the reset button and head elsewhere, especially to his alma mater where he would likely receive a warm welcome.
But as Goodman pointed out, Pitt might not be willing to take a chance on Miller because of his now-checkered past.
And Miller evidently isn’t Pitt’s first choice, as it has reportedly offered Rhode Island coach Danny Hurley north of $3 million to become its new head coach, though Hurley is reportedly leaning toward heading to UConn instead.