Basketball

Indiana fires basketball coach Archie Miller after four seasons, zero NCAA Tournament appearances

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Indiana has fired basketball coach Archie Miller, the program announced on Monday. Miller, 42, just completed his fourth season in Bloomington. The Hoosiers missed the NCAA Tournament field on Selection Sunday for a fourth consecutive season under his watch.

Miller went 67-58 overall and 33-44 in Big Ten play during his tenure as the Hoosiers coach after being plucked from Dayton, where he led the Flyers to four NCAA Tournament appearances and two regular-season championships in the A-10. He was one of the most high-profile coaching hires of the 2017 offseason, and with his services in high demand, IU parted ways with coach Tom Crean and hired Miller in a matter of weeks in 2017. In his four seasons, the Hoosiers never finished with a conference record above .500.

“In the days following the completion of our season in the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament, I have spent a great deal of time evaluating our recruiting, student-athlete development, leadership development and playing philosophy and strategy,” said Indiana Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Dolson in a statement. “I shared my assessment with Indiana University President Michael McRobbie, and he accepted my recommendation.”

Dolson thanked Miller and his staff for their time at Indiana and wished them the best. He added that the decision was not an easy one given financial constraints related to the pandemic, but it was one he felt necessary to move forward.

“Given the university’s very tight financial situation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, private philanthropic funding has been obtained for all transition costs and obligations related to the change in leadership,” he said.

The search for a new head coach will commence immediately, Dolson added. There will not be a formal search committee.

After a 19-16 campaign in 2018-19 and a 20-12 campaign last season, Indiana this season brought back star sophomore Trayce Jackson-Davis and a host of other returning players that warranted cautious optimism for its prospects. Instead, IU went off the rails, finishing the season 12-15 with six consecutive losses to end the season. It marked the fewest wins in a season for the program since Tom Crean’s third season.

The late-season struggles for the team brought about significant uncertainty for Miller and his future as Indiana’s coach, which would likely have landed him on the hot seat entering next season. But it wasn’t immediately clear if Indiana would give him another season or pay the $10.3 million check required to buy him out of his contract. Less than 24 hours after IU was officially excluded from the tournament field, Hoosiers brass made their decision loud and clear.

Though Miller’s tenure as Indiana coach ends unceremoniously, he and his staff had great moments — just not sustained highs. On the court, sweeping Michigan State in 2019 and notching wins over Florida State, Michigan State and Ohio State were among them. But mostly they were limited to off-the-court wins on the recruiting trail. Securing commitments from five-star Romeo Langford and four-star Jackson-Davis — the top-rated Indiana recruit in 2018 and the third-rated Indiana recruit in 2019, respectively — helped generate optimism around the state. But Miller and his staff weren’t able to parlay their additions into a meaningful turnaround.

“Indiana Basketball has a long, rich history of success that dates back generations,” Dolson said. “Our five national championships and 22 Big Ten titles makes us one of the most accomplished program in college basketball history. I have high expectations for our program, and we have not competed at a level within the conference or nationally that I believe we should.”

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