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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Arizona coaching search continues with Gonzaga’s Tommy Lloyd considered frontrunner

UPDATED: Sun., April 11, 2021

Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd is all smiles with Brandon Clarke (right) and Killian Tillie (left) during a practice before a 2019 NCAA Tournament game in Salt Lake City.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd is all smiles with Brandon Clarke (right) and Killian Tillie (left) during a practice before a 2019 NCAA Tournament game in Salt Lake City. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

Arizona’s search for a new men’s basketball coach has sent the rumor mill into overdrive, but most signs still to point in Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd’s direction.

Lloyd is one of at least four candidates to interview. He met with Arizona officials via Zoom, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

The Wildcats have reportedly interviewed Pacific head coach Damon Stoudamire, Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Miles Simon and current Arizona assistant coach Jason Terry. Those three are former standout Arizona players with experience on the Wildcats’ coaching staff.

Lloyd’s name has been prominent in the search since Arizona fired 12-year head coach Sean Miller on Wednesday. There has been speculation it’s a done deal but Stadium and the Arizona Daily Star reported Sunday that Lloyd hasn’t been offered the job.

Stoudamire is thought to be the top candidate among those with strong connections to Arizona’s program.

Some have pointed to the timing of Miller’s dismissal – following Gonzaga’s NCAA Tournament run that ended with an 86-70 loss to Baylor in Monday’s title game – as an indication Lloyd is at the top of Arizona’s list.

Miller has been in the NCAA’s crosshairs since the 2017 FBI probe into college basketball corruption. The NCAA charged Arizona with five Level 1 infractions, including one against Miller for lack of institutional control.

Lloyd, 46, hasn’t been a head coach, but he’s regarded as one of the best assistant coaches in the nation.

Lloyd has been designated as Gonzaga’s head coach in waiting should Mark Few leave the position. Lloyd has presumably faced the decision before – take a head coaching position or stay at Gonzaga – and could face another decision soon.

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