The Archie Miller era in Dayton ended as it began — with little advance warning.
Miller was not a big name when Dayton hired him in 2011. He is a big name now. His name has popped up in many major coaching searches over the last four seasons, and yet Miller managed to keep his plans a secret this weekend. No one knew anything beyond rumors until the news started breaking Saturday about him leaving to coach the Indiana Hoosiers.
Miller’s former players tried to put a positive spin on the sad news.
“Submitting my resume to be the next head coach!!” Kendall Pollard wrote on Twitter.
Dayton went young when it hired the 32-year-old Miller in 2011 — but not that young. The senior Pollard still has some playing days ahead of him somewhere. As for Miller, he took Dayton to a new level with 102 victories in the last four years alone and four NCAA appearances. Here’s a quick look back at his tenure:
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April 3, 2011: Dayton announces the hiring of Miller, who had spent the two previous seasons as an assistant coach under his brother Sean at Arizona.
Nov. 12, 2011: The Flyers beat Western Illinois 87-55 in Miller’s debut.
March 13, 2012: Dayton loses 84-75 at Iowa in the first round of the NIT, finishing 20-13 in Miller’s first season.
Nov. 19, 2012: Dayton announces the signing of three 2013 recruits: Scoochie Smith, Kyle Davis and Kendall Pollard. They will form the backbone of the winningest class in school history.
March 14, 2013: Dayton loses 73-67 to Butler in the Atlantic 10 tournament and fails to make a postseason tournament with a 17-14 mark in Miller’s second season.
Nov. 9, 2013: Dayton beats IPFW 81-80 on a last-second shot by Jordan Sibert, a victory that helps set the stage for a 26-11 season and an Elite Eight run.
March 24, 2014: UD extends Miller’s contract through 2019 days after victories against Ohio State and Syracuse in the NCAA tournament.
Dec. 17, 2014: Dayton dismisses Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson from the team. Left with a seven-man roster for much of the season, the Flyers still manage to finish 27-9 with two NCAA tournament wins.
Feb. 12, 2016: Dayton improves to 20-3 with a 68-66 victory at Rhode Island. The Flyers then lost five of their last nine games, finishing 25-8 in Miller’s fifth season.
May 12, 2016: Center Steve McElvene dies at 20 from an an enlarged heart. Miller gives the eulogy at McElvene’s funeral nine days later.
March 17, 2017: Dayton loses 64-58 to Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA tournament, finishing 24-8 in Miller’s final season.
March 25, 2017: Miller leaves Dayton to become the new coach at Indiana.