Archie Miller on the bench during the 2015-16 season. David Jablonski/Staff
The 2015-16 college basketball season is just around the corner. In honor of the Flyers winning 53 games the last two seasons (and because I couldn’t come up with 2,015 reasons), I’m counting down 53 reasons (in no particular order) to look forward to the season. Follow the blog between now and the season opener against Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 13.
I’ll post links on Twitter (@DavidPJablonski) and on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DavidPatrickJablonski).
No. 53: Archie and Co. are back
It’s season five for head coach Archie Miller and his staff (Kevin Kuwik, Tom Ostrom, Allen Griffin, Bill Comar and Eric Farrell). It’s season two for graduate assistants Brian Frank and Brian Walk.
The core group of coaches started together in 2011, and despite persistent Twitter rumors about Miller leaving to run a Gator farm in Florida, running for President, or starting a gymnastics team (I just created that one based on his tweets about his daughter Leah), the staff remains intact in 2015.
Miller’s record through four seasons stands at 90-47. His .657 winning percentage ranks second in UD history among coaches who have coached at least 100 games, trailing only Tom Blackburn (352-141, .714).
It shouldn’t take Miller long this season to reach 100 career wins. Only Don Donoher (437-275, .614), Blackburn, Brian Gregory (172-94, .647) and Oliver Purnell (155-116, .572) have reached that mark.
Miller is the fourth UD coach to lead the Flyers to the NCAA tournament at least twice. Donoher’s squads made it eight times and won 11 games. Gregory and Purnell each reached the big dance twice and won one game between them.
Miller’s Flyers have won five NCAA tournament games the last two seasons. This season, they will try to reach the NCAA tournament for a third straight season, something UD hasn’t done since 1965-67.
Dayton announced a contract extension for Miller through the 2021-22 season on March 26, four days after the Flyers fell short of a second straight trip to the Sweet 16 with a 72-66 loss to Oklahoma in Columbus.
Miller has never given any indication he wants to coach anywhere else despite the persistent rumors that pop up anytime a big job opens.
After signing his extension, the second in as many years, he said of those rumors, ““It’s part of it. 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.”