Report says `mutual interest' between Miller and Maryland

2011-05-06T13:53:00Z 2011-05-06T14:13:33Z Report says `mutual interest' between Miller and MarylandBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star

The Washington Post says Maryland and Sean Miller "have mutual interest" in the vacancy left by Gary Williams.

Miller is not reachable for comment and UA athletic director Greg Byrne declined to comment.

Byrne has been expected to announce an extension of Miller's contract sometime before the Arizona Board of Regents meet next month; Miller was promised a two-year extension when he was hired by Jim Livengood in 2009.

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The Post says Maryland AD Kevin Anderson is planning to travel to talk to Miller about the job. That would be interesting, since Miller is scheduled to host 2013 recruit Chris Thomas today and 2012 recruit Shabazz Muhammad on Saturday.

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So just imagine you're Miller and Williams retires at Maryland. What's really going through your mind?

Maybe you're interested because:

-- Maryland has good facilities, a great recruiting backyard and plays in the storied ACC.

-- Unlike N.C. State, which Miller turned away from in March, there isn't quite as much pressure to beat Duke and North Carolina regularly.

-- You're an East Coast guy who coached in the ACC (as an assistant to Herb Sendek at NC State).

-- You could earn even more money than the $2 million you make at Arizona (unless you get a raise when Greg Byrne announces an extension this spring).

But maybe you're not interested because:

-- You still occasionally have to beat Duke and UNC, and winning the conference often will be a much-tougher task than it is at Arizona, which could win the Pac-12 next season even without Derrick Williams.

-- Since your arrival, you've received new facilities and the Pac-12 has received a new television contract that could put you on ESPN more often than Maryland.

-- At Maryland, you and your players are not the top dog as they are in Tucson. Lot of well-liked pro teams nearby in D.C. and Baltimore.

-- You'll have to move your family across the country for the second time in three years.

-- You'll be inheriting a less-talented roster and will have to re-build bridges in recruiting and community affairs that you just spend the past two years building at Arizona.

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ESPN's Andy Katz nicely spelled out why established coaches don't often leave for other top jobs, though he noted that Miller could have the toughest decision if he were offered.

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Then again, none of this may matter if Mike Brey is interested. The Notre Dame coach has significant Maryland ties.

Notre Dame is working on an extension for Brey.

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Williams was not known to be a fan of dealing with travel-ball coaches, preferring instead to develop lesser-tier recruits. Mike DeCourcy said Williams had been thinking of retiring a year ago.

 

Maryland's recruiting class could take a hit from Williams' departure.

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I called Jim Ferguson, Terrell Stoglin's coach at Santa Rita HS, to see what the early reaction was. Ferguson said he had not talked with Stoglin yet but that the player "loved" Williams and told a Maryland assistant coach he might not stay if the assistant was not retained.

But Ferguson said he was told whoever takes the Maryland job will "work real hard to keep him."

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Cal says it will gross about $15.4 million in the first year of the Pac-12's new media rights deal, helping justify the sparing of some sports. The deal will average $20.8 million over the 12 years for each school.

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