(photo courtesy of Desmond Fischer)
by Tim Daniel
It was a day unlike any other in the Cintas Center.
New energy the fanbase had been waiting to feel for quite some time, in a familiar face making his triumphant return to 3800 Victory Parkway.
On Friday afternoon, Sean Miller was introduced as the new Head Coach of the Xavier Musketeers. A job he held from 2004-2009 with great success.
After leaving for Arizona in 2009, coaching the Wildcats until 2021 then taking 2022 off to work in media and enjoy life, Sean Miller came back home.
"The last time we were here, 13 years ago, that eight-year period of our families' lives was some of the happiest times we ever had." Coach Miller said to open his press conference.
When Sean greeted the fan base for the first time since accepting the job to lead the Musketeers he spoke with excitement on what Xavier basketball could be, while also expressing gratefulness and appreciation for coming back to his old stomping grounds.
(photo courtesy of Desmond Fischer)
After starting by congratulating his brother Archie for being named the head coach at Rhode Island, Sean Miller explained his joy in being at Xavier, spoke of his first tenure at Cintas Center, what Chris Mack and Travis Steele were able to do for the program after he left while expressing the pride in his accomplishments as the coach at the University of Arizona.
Sean spoke with pride about his former Xavier players coming back to be at the presser today, discussed how Xavier took a Final Four trip away from him as the head coach at Arizona in the 2017 Sweet 16, and his plans for establishing a culture to build a championship roster at Xavier, including hinting at DeAndre Ayton's one-year-old son committing to Xavier if Miller can just hold on to his job for 17 more years.
Sean ended his discussion with the fan base with a simple cross of his arms to show the classic "X" logo Musketeer fans have come to be all too familiar with.
"Although this is a new beginning, there is so much familiarity between so many things," Miller said to the media. "There's great trust between my family, me, and this university. There's new leadership now with (University President) Dr. Hancyz and (Athletic Director) Greg Christopher, and now as we've spent more time together it's unique first of all, but it's also very very exciting to coach at a place where there's the shared vision and alignment that they have,"
While there is joy within the program, the discussions of Miller's break up with Arizona did come up a few times through the presser including being asked if there were concerns about running Xavier's program the right way. "There's equal familiarity and passion between me, knowing Xavier as the university it is, the values that they hold, and those conversations, questions being asked and answered went very well."
"The matter at Arizona is separate from today here at Xavier. There will be a time, and I'm confident in saying that topic will be talked about, but just out of respect for the process, although it's coming to an end it's not there yet. When that day and time comes I look forward to sharing more," Miller spoke about in regards to the allegations against Arizona.
Though Sean Miller has been gone from Xavier for a long time, when Miller discussed the Crosstown Shootout rivalry with the University of Cincinnati, he still spoke about someone who understands the game all too well. "Look, the crosstown shootout speaks for itself. Nobody has to convince me to be the most ready you can be for that game, how important that game is to our fans, what it stands for in this city and when we play that game we're gonna be ready. I know what that means. I've been here for eight years I competed in eight of them, and I look forward to competing in the ninth one.," Though the energy Miller expressed into the rivalry has to give Xavier fans excitement, it turns out a former adversary became an ally for Sean.
"When Mick (Cronin) and I were here, it was a different day and age. We embodied the Crosstown Shootout but he became the head coach at UCLA, and with me at Arizona, unfortunately, I wasn't successful the last couple of years against him but he's a great coach everybody here knows that. But Mick and I have become really good friends When he saw me get the Xavier job he was on a plane with his dad, I won't tell you everything he said but he just said man it's crazy you're going back to Xavier, I'm really happy for you."
As Sean Miller closed out his presser and left the media room, the Xavier fanbase was very active on social media sharing their excitement and joy for times ahead. Though Sean Miller is back at Xavier, and some things look to stay the same, the new and improved Sean Miller is here to make a change.
Tim Daniel is a podcaster, and writer here on the 48 Minutes Basketball Network. Tim also covers Xavier and UC for our network and website. If you want to discuss your thoughts on Sean Miller coming back, Xavier Basketball or anything else Follow him here!