Dayton (smartly) hires a rising coaching star

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Dayton did the smart thing when finding a replacement for coach Brian Gregory. It went young.

The Flyers tabbed Arizona assistant Archie Miller, 32, as their new coach on Sunday. It’ll be his first head-coaching gig after stints at N.C. State and Arizona State under Herb Sendek and another at Ohio State under Thad Matta. He’d been at Arizona the last two years.

Given that run of programs and recruiting record, I’d say he’s ready.

“I don’t take lightly for one second the opportunity or responsibility in front of me,” Miller said. “Our program is one of the rare programs that stacks up with any in terms of the total package of athletics, academics and community support.”

Miller takes over a Dayton program that had been good, but not great under Gregory.

The Flyers were 172-94 in eight seasons, including two NCAA tourney berths. But they underperformed the last two seasons, finishing 7th and 8th in the A-10 and missing the Big Dance. Miller will thrive with recruits (he brought in most of Arizona’s last two classes), which is half the battle. Bring in a heady assistant for the Xs and Os and Dayton will be set.

He’s also the latest in Sendek’s coaching tree to get his own program. Now nine of his former assistants – including Charlie Coles, John Groce, Ron Hunter, Sean Miller and Matt – have head coaching jobs. Four have won NCAA tournament games.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.