Archie Miller, Indiana Hoosiers Equal High Expectations [Opinion]

For new Indiana Hoosiers men’s basketball head coach Archie Miller to be deemed a success at the former championship basketball program, he much not only get the Hoosiers back to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, but reach a Final Four and even bring back a national championship too.

Miller is scheduled to be introduced as the new Indiana Hoosiers head coach Monday. Once everything becomes official, the task of replacing former head coach Tom Crean, and bringing the Indiana Hoosiers basketball program back not just to the tournament, but to the Final Four and beyond begins.

ESPN.com had a statement from Miller about becoming the new head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers this weekend:

“I am honored to be the head coach at Indiana University,” Miller said Saturday in a statement. “IU is one of the greatest basketball programs and academic institutions in the country, and I cannot wait to get started.”

The Indiana Hoosiers have reached the Final Four eight times in their program history, six championship games and have won five national championships. That is what the Indians Hoosiers faithful are wanting again for their team, and Miller has been selected to be the head coach to lead them to that promise land, and for good reason.

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Miller comes from coaching the University of Dayton for the past six seasons, earning an overall record as head coach of 139-63, leading the Dayton Flyers to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament the past four seasons. In five of his six seasons at Dayton, Miller’s teams won at least 20 games per season.

The Indians Hoosiers haven’t had that type of success the past couple years, including this year where they lost in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), missing the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament the past two years. That said, Crean was a good head coach for the Hoosiers, as he brought them out of some of their toughest times. His Hoosiers teams made the Sweet 16 on more than one occasion and had competitive teams during most of his tenure at Indiana.

With Crean, the issue was he could get the Indiana Hoosiers to the dance most years, but they always left too early for the liking of Hoosiers fans and for those in charge of overseeing the program, leading to his dismissal and the hiring of Miller.

At one time, it was said the Hoosiers new head coach was going to be Steve Alford of UCLA, with the “hometown kid” coming home to bring the program back to the top. That didn’t happen, and it might be the best for each party.

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Alford even said he didn’t want to “go home” to coach the Indiana Hoosiers, with Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star quoting him in an article.

“He later made his intentions clear to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, saying, “I am absolutely 100 percent not going to Indiana. Staying at UCLA. I am happy. Love it here. Have a great (recruiting) class coming in, and a brand-new practice facility.”

With Miller now the new leader of the Indiana Hoosiers, it is easily known the expectations will be very high from day one, as they should be. The Indiana fans are also smart enough to understand a national championship isn’t coming in year one either. Miller is more than capable of getting the Hoosiers back to the NCAA Tournament in year one at Indiana, but it will take a couple good recruiting classes to really start bringing the Hoosiers back to a top national level.

Miller did sign a reported seven-year deal with the Indiana Hoosiers, so if given the full opportunity, the former Dayton head coach Miller could have the best success of his NCAA coaching career. If that happens, maybe Miller might be able to lead the Hoosiers to their first NCAA National Championship since 1987.

[Featured Image by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images]