The Arizona Wildcats finally settled on their new head coach, and unfortunately for Gonzaga fans, it is longtime assistant Tommy Lloyd.
BREAKING: Arizona is set to hire Gonzaga Coach-in-Waiting Tommy Lloyd, sources told @stadium.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 14, 2021
HUGE upside. Terrific recruiter, has had major coaching responsibilities with Mark Few, and helped build the Zags program into what it is.
Lloyd, who is 46, has spent the past two decades as an assistant and associate head coach with the Zags and was long considered the heir-in-waiting after Mark Few retires. Unfortunately, for Lloyd, Few is only 58 and has plenty of gas left in the tank for his head coaching lifestyle. When Arizona came calling, it made complete sense.
Perhaps much to the chagrin of the uninformed portions of their fanbase (special shoutout to Gilbert Arenas), the Wildcats are getting the premiere international recruiter in college basketball. Lloyd’s success overseas is one of the many keys to Gonzaga’s success over the past decade, and he will take that prowess over to one of the top basketball jobs on the West coast, but one that is in a state of uncertainty at the moment.
The Wildcats are waiting diligently for the NCAA hammer to drop thanks to the violations of Sean Miller and his staff. As usually is the case with coaching changes, the roster is in a bit of turmoil at the moment as well. Four Wildcats have entered the transfer portal, although with the coaching gig solidified, that might change.
For the Zags, it is bittersweet to see Lloyd go, but thoroughly understandable. Even considering the current state of the program, the University of Arizona is one of the top programs in the history of modern college basketball. The alumni base, as seen during this coaching search, is passionate, to the point of absurdity at times. Lloyd, with his first head coaching gig, is jumping into the deep end. Here at The Slipper Still Fits, we only wish him the best.
A team can never fully replace someone with the institutional knowledge of 20-plus years, but the Zags recruiting efforts are still in good hands between Brian Michaelson and Roger Powell Jr.
Honestly, the most important question about this whole thing: If Lloyd is the head coach, does he still stand in the corner during big moments?