BEAR DOWN: Former head coach Sean Miller expresses love for Wildcat fans, former players and Tucson

‘It was an honor to be the head basketball coach at the University of Arizona’
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 3:22 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - One day after being fired by the University of Arizona, former basketball coach Sean Miller released a statement.

Miller arrived on campus in Tucson in the spring of 2009, hired by Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood, and charged with calming the basketball program’s choppy waters.

“It was an honor to be the head basketball coach at the University of Arizona,” Miller wrote. “Over the last 12 years, Tucson became our home. It’s where our three sons grew up and attended the University of Arizona. It’s also the place we made friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Miller went 302-109 at Arizona, advancing to the NCAA tournament seven times. The Wildcats’ best seasons under Miller came in 2017 and 2018, when they won the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles. They ended up losing to Wisconsin in Elite Eight round both times.

The rest of Miller’s statement reads:

“Coaching in the McKale Center on game day is one of the thing I will miss the most. The pageantry and magic of the crowd and pep band is unlike any arena I’ve been in. Wildcat fans are unique. They are passionate, loyal, knowledgeable and fair and that’s why they are the best fan base in college basketball.

“I admire and respect every player that I have coached. Their sacrifice and hard work to truly become part of something bigger than themselves was incredibly special to seel. As a coach, I tried to bring out the best in everyone. I hope they know that I did it with a lot of love .. and some ‘tough love’ at times.

“I would like to thank Jim Livengood and Dr. Shelton for hiring me and believing in me along with Greg Byrne, Mike Ketcham and Dr. Hart for supporting, mentoring and working together with our program to establish success. Finally, I would like to thank Dave Heeke and Dr. Robbins for supporting our program through challenging times.

“I am blessed to have a great family beside me. To my three sons -- Austin, Cameron and Braden -- I’m so proud of each of you. Thank you for ALWAYS being there for me. And to my amazing wife, Amy -- I’m not sure where I would be without you. You have been by my side every step of the way through it all.

" I wish Arizona the very best as they move forward with their new coach. My hope is that they can capture the elusive fifth Final Four and second national championship.

“Bear Down and Go Cats!”

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