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Sean Miller out as Arizona men's basketball coach

The university confirmed on Wednesday morning that Sean Miller is departing the program after 12 years.
Credit: AP
Arizona head coach Sean Miller waves after a win over Southern California during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona and men's basketball coach Sean Miller are parting way, the school confirmed on Wednesday morning. 

Miller spent 12 seasons coaching the Wildcats and compiled a 302-109 record during his tenure. He had one year remaining on his contract and the school says it will honor the terms of his existing contract.

Arizona has parted ways with men’s basketball coach Sean Miller as the program awaits its fate in an NCAA infractions investigation, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The person told the AP on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made initially. 

Miller and the Wildcats have been in the NCAA’s crosshairs since being ensnared in a 2017 FBI investigation into shady recruiting practices.

"We appreciate Sean's commitment to our basketball program and to the university," Arizona Athletic Director Dave Heeke said in a statement. "After taking the many factors involved into account, we simply believe that we need a fresh start and now is the time. I want to thank Sean, Amy and their sons for their service to the university and wish them the very best in the future."

Heeke announced that associate head coach Jack Murphy will serve as interim head coach, but a national search for a new head coach will begin immediately. 

"We have a storied men's basketball program with unbelievable fan support, facilities and resources," Heeke said in a statement. "While we will not put a timeline on our search, we will move as expeditiously as possible and will include a broad array of candidates, identifying coaches who exhibit integrity, competitiveness and a genuine care for the student-athletes. I am confident that we will have a diverse pool and find the right fit for Arizona men's basketball."

University President Robert C. Robbins did not mention Miller by name in the statement released by the school, but said it's clear the program needs to write a new chapter.

"After conferring with Dave Heeke since the season's end, it has become clear that our men's basketball program – and our University – needs to write a new chapter in our history, and that begins with a change of leadership," Robbins said in the statement. "Arizona Basketball means so much to so many and, as stewards of the program, we must always act in the best interests of the university. I believe our future is bright, and I look forward to welcoming a new head coach to the Wildcat family." 

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