At the height of Dick Tomey’s coaching career in the mid-1990s, Oklahoma asked if he was interested in being the Sooners’ head coach. Tomey suggested the Sooners take a good look at UA defensive coordinator Larry Mac Duff.
Kentucky twice tried to get Lute Olson to run UK’s basketball operation at Rupp Arena. Arizona State, of course, tried to persuade alumnus Mike Candrea to return “home” to coach the Sun Devils.
And swimming coach Frank Busch always seemed to be the first choice when vacancies popped up at USC and Florida, among others.
So it’s nothing new when Sean Miller’s name gets tossed around for get-back-close-to-home schools like Maryland, Pitt and Ohio State.
I would keep eight things in mind before spending a sleepless night worrying that Miller will abandon Arizona just at it seems capable of ending a 17-year drought at the Final Four:
1. Coaching against Archie. If a new job involves close-contact competition and recruiting against your brother, the new coach at Indiana, it is undesirable.
2. Money. Arizona pays at the highest scale of college basketball. It ain’t about the money after you’ve banked more than $20 million in Tucson.
3. There are no recruiting limitations at Arizona. Your recruiting turf is the world.
4. Family. Miller’s two oldest sons are on the staff at Arizona. His youngest son is a point guard at Salpointe Catholic. He has a nice summer home in the White Mountains.
5. The road no longer eats up too much time. Arizona provides charter flight service to and from every game, every year. It is the sweetest traveling arrangement in the Pac-12 and West of Kansas.
6. Lorenzo Romar is just settling in. You can make a case that Miller has the best coaching staff in college hoops.
7. Privacy. Miller is an unusually private man, one who doesn’t seem willing to walk into a fishbowl-type job in a basketball-centric city in the ACC. Tucson gives him his space.
8. Unfinished business. Who walks away from a Final Four-ready product when you’re 48, in the prime of your career, one clutch bucket from basketball’s Promised Land?
And how about the climate? Why live where you must be armed with mittens and worry about your de-icer fluid?