Unless Billy Donovan pulls a Billy Donovan, we will now see something we haven’t seen in nearly two decades. A new head basketball coach at Florida, the biggest rival to Kentucky in the SEC. While the Wildcats usually got the best against their former assistant coach, Donovan still held a 17-29 record against us. He always seemed to be the thorn stuck in our sides during conference play and made Florida extremely relevant to where people often said it was either Kentucky or Florida’s league to lose.
So, now with Florida stuck in a coaching search and at the worst possible time thanks to Shaka Smart taking the Texas job, it’s time for us to keep an eye on who Florida hires as this can either run the program into the ground or keep the Gators as one of the better programs in the NCAA. There’s one person who Kentucky fans don’t want and shouldn’t want to see roaming the sidelines in Gainesville for the next 17 years.
That man is Dayton’s coach Archie Miller.
Now, it’s not like he’s going to come in and have a Calipari-like turnaround, but Miller is the best coach on the board. He’s young enough to be the head man at Florida for a couple of decades like Billy D while still able to talk to recruits on a different level. Milller, just 36 years old, has already reached an Elite Eight, Sweet 16 and won an average of 23 games a season at Dayton, not a school you consider a powerhouse.
He’s the brother of Arizona’s Sean Miller who took a similar path leaving Xavier to head west and turn Arizona into a powerhouse thanks to his recruiting tactics. Archie has connections to three prominent recruiting areas as well in Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Ohio. With the ability to pitch Florida at a recruit instead of Dayton, Ohio, you have to think he’ll be similar to his brother in grabbing a couple of McDonald’s All-American’s each year.
It won’t be easy to land Miller though as he did just re-up his contract at Dayton through the 2021-22 season and the Flyers rank as the 23rd most profitable basketball program in the nation, 15 spots head of Florida, but we’ve seen Gators’ AD Jeremy Foley pony up to pay coaches and go away from the norm when it comes to hiring. As the selfish Kentucky fan, I hope Foley goes away from the norm and doesn’t contact Archie Miller. Instead let’s hope to see a coach like Michael White or Richard Pitino on the sidelines.
Who do you want/not want to be the next head coach at Florida?