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Arizona parts ways with Sean Miller after 12 seasons as men's basketball coach

Erick Smith, USA TODAY
·2 min read
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Arizona is parting with men's basketball coach Sean Miller after his 12 seasons with the Wildcats, the school confirmed in an announcement Wednesday.

Miller led Arizona to the NCAA Tournament in seven of his first nine seasons at the school, including three appearances in the Elite Eight.

However, Arizona was implicated in an FBI investigation into recruiting corruption in college basketball that became public in 2017. Former assistant coach Emmanuel Richardson pleaded guilty to a bribery charge and served three months in federal prison for his role in the FBI case.

Sean Miller had a 302-109 record in 12 seasons at Arizona.
Sean Miller had a 302-109 record in 12 seasons at Arizona.

"We appreciate Sean's commitment to our basketball program and to the university," athletics 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."

Arizona received a notice of allegations from the NCAA that accused the school of five Level I violations which includes multiple allegations of academic misconduct, a bribery scheme and the cover-up of a loan.

Miller was charged with failing to promote compliance. The notice of allegations says Miller, as head coach, is presumed responsible for five of the allegations and "did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere for compliance and monitored his staff within the basketball program."

Former assistant coach Mark Phelps and Richardson were charged with unethical recruiting conduct.

The Wildcats self-imposed a postseason ban this season as they await a ruling regarding penalties from the Independent Accountability Resolution Process of the NCAA that is overseeing the case.

Miller had one year left on his contract. Arizona said it would honor the terms of his existing deal, meaning he was due a buyout just under $1.5 million without the responsibility to offset the cost through future employment.

Miller finishes his career at Arizona with a 302-109 record. He previous coached five seasons at Xavier, where he took the Musketeers to four tournaments.

Associate head coach Jack Murphy will serve as interim head coach while the school seeks to find a replacement for Miller

Contributing: Steve Berkowitz; Jeremy Cluff, Arizona Republic

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sean Miller out after 12 seasons as Arizona's men's basketball coach