Basketball coach Sean Miller said today he's "here for the long haul unconditionally" after having found a strengthened belief in remaining with the Arizona Wildcats after considering the Maryland coaching job over the weekend.
Miller and UA athletic director Greg Byrne appeared together at a 40-minute press conference this morning at McKale Center to discuss a potential move that stirred up considerable emotion in the Wildcat community until UA announced an undisclosed contract extension Saturday night.
"I'm sorry if I caused that, I really am," Miller said. "What it does confirm is just the love affair between so many people and our basketball program."
Miller indicated that it was that passion, plus the increasing infrastructure of a program that's building momentum toward national prominence, that ultimately kept Miller at UA.
Miller said he has long felt support from Byrne, who will present new staff contracts and charter airplane travel allowances to the Arizona Board of Regents next month. Miller also said it was a misconception that his wife, Amy, and his family wanted to move back East, where they lived until Sean Miller became Arizona's coach in April 2009.
"I'm 42 and I've lived back East for 40 years," Miller said. "Is that something that means something? Yes. But my wife loves Tucson, Arizona. Just so you know, one of the big reasons we are here today is because of her, not just when we left Cincinnati, but in the fact that we're here today on Monday."
Miller also said his three sons "would be crushed" if they had to leave Tucson, though he said his decision did not come down to a family meeting. He indicated he already knew he wanted to stay regardless.
"I love being here," Miller said. "If you ask what was this weekend was about, if I said to you, 'Do you ever have an opportunity in your career that at least causes you to pause and consider?' I think all of us would say 'Yes.' That's what this weekend was for me."