It didn’t take long for the Butler basketball program to find the replacement for its beloved former coach. Announcing the new hire of Brandon Miller early Saturday morning, the graduate of Butler will begin coaching his alma-mater this upcoming season.
“I am confident that Brandon will carry on the Butler University basketball tradition of excellence, especially as we make the transition to the Big East Athletic Conferenc. As a player, assistant coach, and person, Brandon has exemplified the Butler Way and brings a blend of energy, talent and integrity to this role. With Brandon’s leadership, Butler is well-positioned to expand upon the success of the last few years.” – Butler Athletic Director Barry Collier’s statement.
A part of the 2003 class, Miller played on the Butler Bulldogs’ basketball team from 2001-2003 as a point guard. He has spent time as the assistant coach at both Butler and Ohio State, including a Final Four run with Greg Oden and company for the Buckeyes.
This was going to be his first year back on the Butler coaching staff, which is why some dismissed him as a primary target to be the head coach at first. However, it seemed clear that the contest came down to he and Michigan assistant Lavall Jordan.
At this point, before the press conference, it is hard to tell what exactly made him stick out from the pack, but his experience couldn’t have hurt his cause. Not only did he make a run to the Final Four as a part of a very successful program at Ohio State, but he spent time playing for Barry Collier, Thad Matta and Todd Lickliter.
In terms of successful coaches at Butler, Miller has spent time with them all. He even spent some time on the coaching staff working with Stevens. Perhaps that is why he stood out, beccause he has seen almost every coach come through here and now has the tools to replicate, or possibly even surpass, what each of them was able to achieve.
With a move to the Big East, though, new challenges will arise. He will be competing with scchols that have a much bigger budget than recruiting as he will and with better amenities to recruit with. The key in that area will be to determine the exact prospects he needs to focus in on and lock them in.
At the same time, he will have to find a way to get the most out of a roster that was biult for the Atlantic 10. This 2013-14 team won’t have the athleticism or raw talent that some of the opponents this season will bring to the floor, but Butler has found a way to win before, and they believe they can continue to do so with Brandon Miller at the helm.
Overall, this was a decision that couldn’t have come as a surprise to people with knowledge of the way these coaching searches have ended recently. Butler promoted an assistant from within the program for the fourth straight time, and will again look for him to become someone who can lead this program with integrity and towards success.
The 34-year-old is not old, but he has a lot of experience with some great coaches who know what it takes to win in college basketball. Now, it is his turn to try to do the same at Butler.