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Creighton Assistant Interviews for Bulldogs Basketball Job
STEVEN HEADSHOT 1
By Steven Sanchez
Published 3 weeks ago on
April 2, 2024

The search for the next head coach for Fresno State men's basketball is underway with Ryan Miller, the Creighton assistant coach, interviewing on Monday morning. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

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Ryan Miller, an assistant coach at Creighton University, interviewed for the vacant Fresno State men’s basketball job on Monday morning, according to WOWT in Omaha.

The 48-year-old’s credentials include two decades of experience as an assistant with stops at TCU, UNLV, Auburn, New Mexico, Pepperdine, and Memphis.

At Creighton, he helped coach Greg McDermott secure the nation’s No. 7 recruiting class in 2021. That class produced three members of the Big East’s All-Freshman team: Trey Alexander, Ryan Nembhard, and Arthur Kaluma. Miller also worked with the defense that ranked 19th best nationally per KenPom in 2021-22, and 14th in 2022-23.

Among Miller’s accomplishments:

  • TCU reached the postseason three times, including a 2018 NCAA Tournament trip that was the program’s first bid in 20 seasons. The school’s nine Big 12 wins that season remain a program record.
  • At UNLV, he was on a staff that landed the nation’s No. 11 and No. 5 ranked recruiting classes in 2015 and 2014. He coached Rashad Vaughn, who was selected No. 17 overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2015 NBA Draft. Miller was named the fourth-best recruiter outside the Power 5 by ESPN’s Jeff Borzello and Adam Finkelstein.
  • He has been on the staff of six NCAA Tournament teams, five regular-season title winners, and one league tournament winner.
  • While he was at New Mexico, the Lobos went 126-46 overall and made five consecutive postseason trips, including two NCAA Tournament berths. During that time, the Lobos won two regular-season Mountain West Conference Championships and one league tournament crown.
  • As a player at Northern State, he was a two-time Northern Sun All-Conference selection. He was a Division II All-American and an Academic All-NSIC member as a senior in 1997-98.

Miller is vying for a job that became vacant when Justin Hutson resigned after the Bulldogs were eliminated from the Mountain West tournament on March 14. The Bulldogs were 92-94 overall over six seasons under Hutson.

List of Candidates

Miller is among several candidates that reportedly are on Fresno State’s radar. Here are some others:

  • Tarvish Felton, New Mexico assistant coach
  • Frank Haith, Texas assistant
  • Byron Jones, Texas assistant coach
  • Andy Newman, Cal State Northridge coach
  • Todd Simon, Bowling Green coach
  • Chris Victor, Seattle University coach

Hometown Favorite Quincy Pondexter Denied an Interview

Fresno resident Quincy Pondexter, an eight-year NBA player and assistant coach at the University of Washington, said Fresno State declined to interview him.

“I love Fresno and Fresno State and I would love the opportunity to make my case to be the Bulldogs’ next head coach, but, unfortunately, I was not granted an interview due to the fact there is a minimum requirement of 5 years NCAA coaching experience (I currently have 3 years). I wish Fresno State basketball great success in the future,” Pondexter said in a statement.

Bulldogs Also Need an Athletic Director

Fresno State is also looking to hire an athletic director after the university parted ways with Terry Tumey on March 21.

Qualifications and Requirements

What are the qualifications beyond those referenced by Pondexter?

According to the university, a bachelor’s degree is a must-have, as is experience overseeing academics with a demonstrated record of coaching success at a Division 1 program. The next hire also must effectively communicate with the media and raise money to support the program.

The posted top pay is $49,583 monthly, or about $595,000 annually. That package isn’t close to the Mountain West’s top tier, according to USA Today. San Diego State pays Brian Dutcher about $2.3 million, Steve Alford makes $1.25 million at Nevada, and Utah State pays Danny Sprinkle $900,000.

Long Beach State Hires Chris Acker 

The Press Telegram has reported that Long Beach State has hired Chris Acker to be the new head coach of the men’s basketball program. Acker, 43, spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach at San Diego State, reaching the Sweet 16 this season and the national championship game last season.

Chris Acker hired as Long Beach State men’s basketball coach – Press Telegram

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Steven Sanchez,
Content Manager/Entertainment Editor
Steven Sanchez, a resident of Clovis, graduated from Buchanan High School in the class of 2007 and obtained his film degree from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Steven is a multifaceted artist, working as a filmmaker, writer, photographer, videographer, and published author. He has a profound passion for movies, comic books, and rock ‘n’ roll. A dedicated football enthusiast, he cheers for the Las Vegas Raiders. In his leisure time, he indulges in reading and collecting vinyl records. Steven is often found attending rock shows in town, a keen enthusiast of live music. He holds a special fondness for his grandma's homemade meals and spending time with his twin sister.

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