Archie Miller shouts to his team during a game against Syracuse. David Jablonski/Staff
Keeping an eye on Archie Miller rumors has become an annual rite of spring in Dayton three years in a row. Ever since Miller took the Dayton Flyers to the Elite Eight in 2014, his name has pops up anytime a top coaching job opens. Fans and media at Florida, Alabama, Tennessee — even UNLV this year — have added to the intrigue of Archie Watch every year.
Miller has reiterated over the years he is happy at Dayton. Just last week before the NCAA tournament and the end of his fifth season, he said he was “very, very comfortable” at UD, and his wife Morgan wrote, “We love DAYTON. End of story!” on Twitter.
UD extended Miller’s contract after the Elite Eight run and again a year ago after two NCAA tournament victories. His deal lasts through the 2021-22 season.
However, a job that opened Monday has put Miller’s name back in the spotlight. Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon left the Panthers to coach at his alma mater, TCU. Archie grew up in Beaver Falls, Pa. That’s 40 miles north of Pittsburgh. Archie’s brother Sean played basketball for the Panthers from 1987-92. For what it’s worth, Archie is a big Steelers fan.
Archie and Sean were the first names on a long list of potential candidates Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports writer Paul Zeise threw out there on Twitter on Monday.
At this point, it’s too soon to know where Miller ranks on Pitt’s wish list or whether Pitt would be an enticing enough job for Miller to leave UD. He has been extremely loyal to Dayton throughout his tenure and has never speculated on his future beyond saying he knows he’s in a good situation at Dayton. The Flyers return four starters and their whole roster, except for two seniors, from a team that finished 25-8. It would be hard to leave this team behind.
Pittsburgh plays in the nation’s third-ranked conference, the ACC, while Dayton plays in the seventh-ranked A-10. But Pitt also competes against the likes of perennial national powers like Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Louisville, etc. It finished tied for ninth the last two years after finishing fifth in its first season in the ACC.
Pitt does have a good fan base. It ranked 41st in the country in attendance in 2014-15 (10,012), but UD ranked 24th (12,718).
The national writers seem to side with the idea that Archie wouldn’t take the Pitt job if offered.
Dayton fans, of course, would hate to see Archie go.