Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd named Arizona's next head coach
Longtime Gonzaga associate head coach Tommy Lloyd has been the leader in Arizona's coaching search from the outset and Wednesday he became the Wildcats' next head coach. Lloyd has been with the Bulldogs for two decades alongside head coach Mark Few.
He has been so invested in that program that he was set to be the next head coach in Spokane whenever Few decided it was time to move on to the next phase of his life.
Instead, Lloyd will now take over one of the other powerhouse programs in the West as the successor to Sean Miller in Tucson.
UA made the move official late Wednesday afternoon announcing a five-year deal with the first-time head coach.
“I am extremely grateful to President Robbins and Dave Heeke for the incredible opportunity to lead one of the country’s most storied men’s basketball programs," Lloyd said in a statement provided by UA. "While there are certainly potential obstacles ahead for our program, I embrace the challenge as we will build on the foundation in place to compete for PAC-12 and national championships. I know how much Arizona Basketball means to the institution, its fans, its community and the state, and I cannot wait to get started. That works begin now. My family and I are excited to settle in Tucson and begin a new chapter.”
The 46-year-old coach from Washington has only ever known Gonzaga in his coaching career as he moved from an administrative assistant with the program to an assistant coach role ahead of the 2001-02 season. Since that time he has forged a path as one of the top recruiters of international players in college basketball.
He has been largely responsible for the international recruiting success that program has had over the last two decades.
At Arizona he will get his first opportunity to take over a program of his own though he enters at a difficult time in the team's history. UA has an NCAA investigation hanging overhead with its case now going through the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.
The Wildcats already had to miss out on this year's NCAA Tournament because of a self-imposed postseason ban that was put into place midway through the season. UA has also been a bit on the decline in recent years having not won an NCAA Tournament game since 2017.
However, Lloyd will inherit a roster that is made up of several international players including standout freshmen Azuolas Tubelis and Bennedict Mathurin in addition to point guard Kerr Kriisa and others.
The Wildcats have been projected by many outlets to be a top 25 team next season but have already had a couple of their incoming players exploring their options since Miller's departure.
UA finished the 2020-21 season with a 17-9 record overall.
The move to Arizona will give Lloyd the opportunity to be closer to his son, Liam, who is a freshman at Grand Canyon University and a member of the basketball team there. He also has two daughters with his wife Chanelle.
Arizona's new head coach is expected to be formally introduced in a press conference Thursday afternoon.
REACTION: Tommy Lloyd hired as Arizona's next head coach
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