Tag: Brandon Miller

Butler v Marquette

Brad Stevens supports Butler and Chris Holtmann, sympathizes with Brandon Miller

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Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics are in Indianapolis for a Friday night matchup with the Indiana Pacers.

The former Butler head coach returned to the school he brought to back-to-back Final Fours earlier in the day, according to the Indy Star. Stevens was attending a retirement ceremony for Butler’s longtime sports information director Jim McGrath.

Since Stevens’ jump to the NBA in July 2013, the program has entered the Big East Conference, and is currently on its second different head coach. Former Butler guard Brandon Miller was tabbed as Stevens’ successor, serving as head coach for one season. He took a leave of absence on October 2, leaving his duties to assistant coach Chris Holtmann.

After guiding the Bulldogs to an 11-4 start, which included a win over then-No. 5 North Carolina, Holtmann had his interim tag removed and agreed to a multi-year contract with the university. In his first game as the permanent head coach, Butler knocked off No. 15 St. John’s on the road.

On Friday, Stevens discussed the state of the program with Curt Cavin of the Indy Star. The Celtics coach remains a follower, even from afar.

“First and foremost, my heart and my sympathies are with Brandon and his family,” Stevens told Cavin. “I’m very excited that they had a person like Chris there (on staff) and the staff that was there with (assistant coaches) Michael Lewis and Terry Johnson. Those guys who were there with me really handled a tough situation fantastic, and I’m really happy that’s going to be a long-term thing now with Chris at the helm.

“I thought all those guys did just a marvelous job. I’m happy for them and you can bet I want them to beat ‘X’ (Xavier) tomorrow.”

This may have been a homecoming of sorts for Stevens, but he has been a topic of discussion a month ago, when he had to shoot down speculation that he could take over at Indiana, given the extended rebuilding process going on in Boston following the Rajon Rondo trade.

Stevens is in the second year of a six-year deal with Boston. Tom Crean, in his seventh season in Bloomington, has the Hoosiers 11-4 on the season.

Butler removes head coach Chris Holtmann’s interim tag

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Less than two weeks before the start of practices in October Butler announced that head coach Brandon Miller would be taking an indefinite leave of absence for health reasons, with Chris Holtmann taking the reins as interim head coach. Holtmann, who joined Miller’s staff in June 2013, wasn’t taking the job lacking head coaching experience as he’d served as head coach at Gardner-Webb in the three seasons prior to his move to Indianapolis.

That, along with the return of versatile forward Roosevelt Jones, helped the Bulldogs get off to a 10-4 start that even saw them climb into the AP Top 25 for four weeks earlier in the year. Eventually a decision would be made on the status of both Holtmann and Miller, and on Friday in a move that didn’t come as a surprise it was announced that Holtmann’s interim tag has been removed and he’ll remain the team’s head coach.

According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, Holtmann and the school have agreed to a multi-year contract that will undoubtedly help eliminate any possible “job security” questions that can spring up on the recruiting trail.

“I am honored to be named the Head Coach at Butler University and it is a real privilege to serve the University in this capacity,” Holtmann said in the release. “I would like to thank President (James) Danko and (athletic director) Barry Collier for their significant leadership and guidance during these last few months. I would also like to thank our staff and players for their incredible support and hard work. This is a special place and a program rich in tradition. We look forward to working extremely hard to make the Butler community proud in the coming years.

“We are grateful to Brandon for his leadership and he will always be an important part of Butler Basketball. He and his family remain in our program’s thoughts and prayers.”

Butler takes on No. 15 St. John’s Saturday in its second consecutive road game. The Bulldogs lost at No. 6 Villanova in their Big East opener on Wednesday.

Butler coaching staff changes signal Brandon Miller’s return won’t be speedy

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On Tuesday, Butler announced changes to their men’s basketball staff.

Emerson Kampen, a former player for the Bulldogs, was promoted from graduate assistant to assistant coach, a position that was left vacant when Chris Holtmann was promoted to interim head coach. The program also announced that Brandon Crone had been hired as the director of basketball operations, a position that had been vacant since July. Like Kampen, Crone was a former player with the Bulldogs.

The reason these staff changes are noteworthy is that Butler head coach Brandon Miller announced earlier this month that he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the program, citing health concerns. Holtmann doesn’t know how long he’ll carry the interim tag, but these changes suggest that it could be an extended period of time. If Miller was expected to be returning to the staff prior to the season starting, would the Bulldogs be making these kinds of changes? Would they be filling vacant assistant coaching positions?

Butler, up to this point, has been mum on the timetable for a potential return to the bench for Miller. They’ve also been silent on what, specifically, is the cause of this leave of absence.

Anyway, here is a quote from Holtmann that was sent out in the release.

“We are excited about the increased role of Emerson and the addition of Brandon to our staff,” said Holtmann.  “Emerson has been a part of some of the most accomplished teams in the history of our program and, while young, he has an impressive basketball IQ and terrific rapport with our players.”

“Brandon has a great appreciation and understanding of the Butler Way and as a player here, he was tough, competitive and driven, leading his team to the most wins in program history at the time.  Brandon has great experience as both a professional player and as an assistant coach at the college level, and we’re pleased to welcome him back.”