Penn hires Brown coach Miller to replace Dunphy
PHILADELPHIA -- Glen Miller was in the mood for an Ivy League trade-up. Presented with an armful of colorful Penn paraphernalia, Miller realized he made a smart choice.
"Red and blue will be just fine," he said Wednesday. "It's a step up from brown."
Forget the school colors. Penn's Ivy League dominance makes the job a step up from Brown, also.
Miller left one Ivy League job for another, splitting for Penn after seven seasons at Brown, where he twice helped the Bears set a school record for wins in a season but was never able to secure an NCAA Tournament berth.
The Quakers had a firm hold on the brainy conference's automatic berth under Fran Dunphy, who was hired this month as the coach at Temple, a few miles across town. Miller can only hope to keep the beat.
"I was kidding around with the guys in the locker room. I said, 'You guys are proven champions, and I haven't proven anything so the pressure's on me, not on you,'" Miller said at the Palestra. "'If we don't win it's my fault, it's not going to be yours.'"
Miller had a 93-99 record in seven seasons at Brown, including 54-44 in the Ivy League. He also coached at Connecticut College from 1993-99 and owns a career record of 188-157.
Miller will have a tough act to follow at Penn, which has won at least a share of 10 of the last 14 Ivy League titles under Dunphy.
"I think Glen's been interviewing for this job for the last seven years," Dunphy said.
Dunphy and the Owls play Penn once a season as part of Philadelphia's unique Big 5 rivalry.
Dunphy, who is replacing the retiring John Chaney at Temple, led the Quakers to the NCAA Tournament nine times. He was 310-163 in 17 seasons at Penn, including a 25-3 record and an NCAA Tournament win in 1993-94.
That's what made the hiring such a curious choice. Recruiting from largely the same pool of players and playing the same conference opponents, Miller could never field a team anywhere near as successful as the Quakers.
In 2002-03, Miller guided Brown to a 17-12 record, a school-record 12 Ivy League wins and an NIT berth. The following seasons, Brown went 14-13 and 12-16. Last season, the team stumbled to 10-17 and finished fifth in the Ivy League.
"There was no school that played us more challenging," athletic director Steve Bilsky said. "They beat us a few times, which is quite an accomplishment."
Miller faced an instant challenge: Winning over players who were deeply loyal to the popular Dunphy and wanted assistant coach Dave Duke to be promoted. Miller said he met "some resistance" from the Quakers in his initial team meeting and understood their reluctance to accept the enemy on the other bench as their new coach.
"These guys build up a perception of me that's probably unjust to some degree, though competition," Miller said. "We'll quickly form a bond."
"I don't know what to think, there are a few mixed emotions," said guard Ibrahim Jaaber. "There's going to be a lot of adjustment. I don't know if it's going to be positive adjustment or negative adjustment."
Miller, a former assistant to UConn coach Jim Calhoun, led Connecticut College to the Division III tournament in 1998 and 1999. He had a 24-0 regular-season record there in 1998-99 and led that team to the national tournament semifinals.
"These guys are great guys and they're going to understand that I'm a great guy, too," Miller said. "They're going to like playing for me and I can't wait."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press