Archie Miller says he’s not a guy who asks for much. He just wants to be wanted.
The University of Dayton has done everything possible the last two Marches to make the Dayton men’s basketball coach feel like one of the most valued coaches in America. On Thursday, UD announced it had extended Miller’s contract through the 2021-22 season.
The new deal, the financial terms of which were not released, comes one year and two days after UD extended Miller’s original contract through the 2018-19 season.
“It’s very humbling,” Miller said. “It’s a privilege to coach at a place like this. Me and my family feel really grateful. (Athletic Director) Tim (Wabler) has been outstanding to work with. There’s not a day that we haven’t had everything we need to be successful. One of the big reasons we are successful is because of our administration. When you add that up, it always feels good to be at a place that wants you. That’s how we feel.”
Miller, 36, is 90-47 in four seasons. The Flyers reached the Elite Eight a year ago. They finished 27-9 this season, falling one victory short of the school record, and beat Boise State in the First Four and Providence in the second round of the NCAA tournament and before losing Sunday to Oklahoma at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
Miller was one of 15 finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award. He’s also a finalist for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year honor.
Wabler said they began working on an extension in mid-February as the Flyers overcame the obstacle of playing with seven players for all but nine games to compete for an Atlantic 10 championship until the final game of the regular season.
“This year confirmed even more that he’s the right guy for the University of Dayton,” Wabler said. “What we really looked at was not necessarily rewarding him for what he’s done the last two years, but, quite frankly, investing in our future as far as men’s basketball.”
The Flyers have won 53 games the last two seasons. That’s the second-best two-year run in school history.
The success has made Miller’s name arise anytime a new coaching job opens up around the nation. Arizona State fans are talking about him. Alabama fans wonder if they could get him. Even fans of programs that still have coaches — Indiana, for example — like to daydream about hiring Miller.
Miller avoids that kind of talk as much as he can.
“It’s part of it,” he said. “Success leads to those type of things. I know what a great situation this is. I know what winning does. We have a winning culture here right now. I’m very proud of it.
“There’s tremendous momentum. Making the NCAA tournament every year, having the chance to make runs, having the chance to compete in the conference, that’s what you want to do. We have everything we need to be even better. We’re trying to be even better — from our schedule next year to trying to build things with our new guys. I like our team coming back. We’re going to try to do it again.”
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