Miller The Latest To Turn Down Arizona

Alan RubensteinAnalyst IIIApril 6, 2009

BOSTON - MARCH 26:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Xavier Musketeers watches their game against the Pittsburgh Panthers from the bench during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regionals at TD Banknorth Garden on March 26, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Sean Miller has become the latest high-profile coach to turn down Arizona.  Miller was reportedly offered a seven year, $14 million contract to become the permanent successor to Lute Olson. He is currently paid $800,000 per year at Xavier.

Miller has a team that could possibly challenge for the Final Four next season. C.J. Anderson and B.J. Raymond are the only departures from this year's team.

He has posted a 120-47 record in five seasons at Xavier and the Musketeers have appeared in the NCAA Tournament the last four seasons. In the last two years, Xavier has advanced to at least the Sweet 16.  Miller has also led XU to three straight first round wins.

Miller met with Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood and President Robert Shelton in New Mexico on Sunday to discuss the position.  He ultimately decided to stay at Xavier.

Livengood has now seen two coaches officially turn down the position and countless others express no interest in it.

With the almost certain departures of Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill, and the possible departure of Nic Wise, next year is going to be tough at UA. The lack of major talent next year and in 2011 has to be the reason Livengood's quest has become so difficult. What was once a search for a major head coach has become desperate. 

Throughout the season, it was rumored the two leading candidates were Mark Few of Gonzaga and Jamie Dixon of Pittsburgh.  It has now gone from a search for A level coaches down to C listers.

With dreams of Pitino, Calipari, Izzo (that is all they were, dreams) to Dixon and Few, and now being turned down by Miller and Floyd, where does Arizona go next?

Names now being mentioned are Jim Boylen of Utah and former New Mexico State and Sacramento Kings Head Coach, Reggie Theus.

What was once an elite program has now become a dire situation. Arizona's situation is similar to where Indiana was last season. 

The difference is that IU was able to hire an elite coach in Tom Crean.  Arizona will be lucky to bring in a coach that even the biggest of college basketball fans might not have heard of.

Some suggestions have included Mark Turgeon and Billy Gillespie.  Gillespie turned Texas A&M around before being shown the door early at Kentucky, and Turgeon continued his work.  The next couple of days should continue to be interesting.