MISENHEIMER, NC –March Madness is upon us and perhaps the biggest story of the “Sweet 16” is that a pair of brothers have guided their respective programs to the regional semifinal round. Pfeiffer has a direct tie to Archie and Sean Miller, the coaches of Dayton and Arizona respectively, as their father John was a two-sport athlete at Pfeiffer and is enshrined in the Pfeiffer Sports Hall of Fame.
John Miller was inducted into the Pfeiffer Hall of Fame in 2003 and was a basketball and baseball standout for the Falcons. Miller, a 1965 graduate, was a three-time All-Conference and All-District player. On the baseball field, John was named the Conference Player of the Year before beginning a very long and successful coaching career. Just like his two sons, it didn’t take Miller long to find success on the sidelines. Coaching in Western Pa., Miller won more than 630 games during his career at Riverside and Blackhawk high schools and led the Blackhawk Cougars to western Pennsylvania’s longest section winning streak at 111 victories. He won eight WPIAL AAA titles and four Pennsylvania state championships.
“John was one of the most outstanding athletes to ever play at Pfeiffer,” said Deputy Athletic Director and 1974 graduate of Pfeiffer, Jack Ingram. “He was a leader on the basketball court and a star shortstop on the baseball diamond. He took the knowledge he gained in competition and has shared it with many people since.”
Miller’s family coaching tree is extensive as his two sons may be the hottest commodities in college basketball right now. On top of his children, Miller also coached Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari.
John’s oldest son, Sean, played at the University of Pittsburgh from 1987-91. Following his graduation, Miller had assistant coaching stints at N.C. St., Pittsburgh, Miami University (OH), and Wisconsin. His first taste of head coaching came in 2004 when he took over the Xavier program. In his five years, he led the Musketeers to a 120-47 record and a .718 winning percentage. In 2008 he guided Xavier to the Elite Eight and took the program to the Sweet 16 the following season. After the 2008-09 season, Sean took over the Arizona program and has two 30-win seasons in his first five years. Arizona is currently a No. 1 seed and was ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time in 10 years.
Archie played for four years at N.C. St and later became an assistant coach for the Wolfpack. Later, he joined Thad Matta’s staff at Ohio St. before teaming up with Sean on the Arizona sidelines for two years. On April 3, 2010, Archie was given his first head coaching job at Dayton. In his first three seasons, Miller has led the Flyers to a 62-37 record and their first trip to the Sweet 16 since 1984 in his first NCAA tournament appearance.
The Miller’s are one of six brother combinations currently coaching at the Division I level. Archie and Sean’s younger sister Lisa also played Division I basketball.
Dayton kicks off the Sweet 16 round on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. when they take on tenth-seeded Stanford with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line. Later that evening, at 10:17 p.m., Sean will guide his Arizona team to a matchup against Steve Fisher and San Diego St.