Archie Miller Fired as IU Basketball Coach
Four seasons and no NCAA Tournament appearances over that time was enough for the powers that be at Indiana University to decide the time has come for a new face to lead the men's basketball team.
The school announced today they are parting ways with Archie Miller who took over the program in 2017 after Tom Crean was let go. Director of Athletics, Scott Dolson released a statement late Monday morning saying he made the decision to fire Miller after doing a full evaluation of the program which included looking at "recruiting, student-athlete development, leadership development, and playing philosophy and strategy...combined with the on-court results." The Hoosiers finished the 2020-2021 season with a record of 12-15 and were bounced from the Big Ten Conference tournament after losing their first game to Rutgers 50-61.
Dolson went on to thank Miller and his family for their commitment to the program during his tenure and wished him the best in wherever his career takes him next.
The question now becomes, "who's next?" Many fans are hoping the University can lure Brad Stevens away from his current job in the NBA as head coach of the Boston Celtics, and return the team back its glory days as a nationally recognized powerhouse like it was under Bob Knight for nearly 30 years.
Whether or not that is feasible, or merely a pipe dream is unknown. Before making the jump to the pros, Stevens, a native of Zionsville, Indiana (roughly 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis), was the assistant head coach of Butler University from 2001 until 2007. He served as head coach from 2007 until 2013 when he took the job with the Celtics. During his six seasons as head coach, the Bulldogs made the NCAA Tournament five times, competing in the championship game in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons. They lost both, but nearly pulled off the upset in 2010 against perennial powerhouse, Duke at Lucas Oil Stadium when a half-court shot at the buzzer from star forward Gordon Hayward hit the backboard, then the rim, before ultimately falling to the floor as time expired giving the Blue Devils a 61-59 win.
But what are the chances Stevens would be available or even interested if his home state program came calling? In his eight seasons as the Celtics head coach, the team has made the playoffs six times, advancing to the Eastern Conference finals on three of those occasions. However, they have yet to make it to the Finals and are currently fifth in the conference standings. There have been some rumblings among reporters and analysts recently that the team may look to move on from Stevens depending on how their season ends, so anything is possible.
If Dolson and the rest of the Athletic Department are interested in making Stevens the next head coach (and I would bet his name is somewhere on their list), they would have to wait until the Celtics' season is over which could be mid-May if they miss the playoffs, or nearly the end of July if they make a run to the Finals. Can the Hoosiers afford to wait that long? If he's who they want, they'll have no choice.
[Source: IUHoosiers.com / HoopsHabit.com / Sports-Reference.com / Basketball Reference.com]