Sean Miller staying at Arizona
Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne announced after midnight ET Saturday that Miller had agreed to a contract extension. Miller's second season in Tucson finished with a Pac-10 regular-season title and an Elite Eight appearance.
Miller was the top target for Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson after the sudden retirement of 66-year-old Gary Williams on Thursday.
"In the last two years, we have done many things to strengthen the program from an improved locker room and practice facility, to our recruiting efforts," Miller said in a statement. "We will continue to work towards getting better in all areas as we move forward.
"Over the last two days, the amount of inaccuracies that surrounded this entire process has been very disappointing. Hopefully, this will put an end to such speculation. Believe me when I tell you, our administration has done everything to keep me here and ensure that this will be among the elite programs in the nation."
Maryland's search continued Sunday after Notre Dame coach Mike Brey turned down a chance to talk to interview with the school. Brey, a Maryland native, told ESPN.com via text message Sunday that he would not be meeting with Anderson and he was staying put with the Irish. Butler's Brad Stevens also rebuffed the Terps, saying Sunday that while he doesn't comment on job searches, he won't be leaving the Bulldogs.
According to sources, the school will now shift its focus to Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon.
According to the Pac-12, Miller expressed his satisfaction at the league meetings last week about the new television contract with ESPN and Fox. Miller's newfound love affair with Arizona and the Pac-12 played a role in his decision, according to a source who had been in contact with Miller during the process.
Byrne said in a news release he and Miller had been discussing his contract and status over the past 24 hours. Terms of the extension were not released as they are subject to the Arizona Board of Regents.
Earlier Saturday, two close confidants of Miller's told ESPN.com they expected Miller to leave. But that was prior to the meeting with Anderson, who on Saturday came to Las Vegas, where Miller was one of many working a Nike coaching clinic. As the day progressed, the confidants changed their tune, saying Miller was leaning toward staying at Arizona.
Miller coached the Wildcats to a 30-8 record this past season, 14-4 in the Pac-10.
"I've said many times that I really liked the direction the new Pac-12 Conference is heading, and Wednesday's announcement says without a doubt that we are entering a new era of increased exposure and competitive excellence,'' Miller said in a statement, referring to the TV deal. "I fully expect Arizona to be a leader for many years to come, and, with the help of our administration, continue to rise to the challenge in meeting the needs of our elite-level program.
"While it's flattering to be mentioned as a candidate for job openings, such speculation only means that our staff is doing great things here in Tucson."
Miller led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight and a last-possession loss to Connecticut after the Wildcats upset Texas and Duke. Miller was named the Pac-10 coach of the year.
Miller was coach at Xavier from 2004 to 2009 and led the Musketeers to the Sweet 16 in 2009 and the Elite Eight in 2008. Miller has 166-70 overall record in seven seasons.
AZCentral.com reported that Miller earned $1.6 million last year from Arizona, $400,000 from Nike and IMG and another $235,000 in performance bonuses. Arizona is losing its top player off the Elite Eight team in sophomore Derrick Williams. Williams is expected to be a top-three pick in this year's NBA draft. But the Wildcats return the core of their team and have the No. 7 recruiting class in the country, according to ESPNU's top 100 rankings. Two of the key members of the recruiting class are the No. 3-rated point guard in Josiah Turner, from Quality Education Academy (N.C.), and the No. 5 shooting guard, Nick Johnson out of Findlay College Prep (Nev.).
Miller hosted top-five 2013 recruit Chris Thomas on campus Friday, continuing Arizona's presence among some of the nation's top talents.
Andy Katz is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
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