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Arizona Wildcats set to hire Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd as basketball coach

Jan 9, 2020; San Diego, California, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs assistant coach Tommy Lloyd watches from the bench during the second half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Jenny Craig Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2020; San Diego, California, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs assistant coach Tommy Lloyd watches from the bench during the second half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Jenny Craig Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona is in the process of hiring longtime Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd as its new head coach, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.

The 46-year-old Lloyd has spent the past 20 seasons serving under Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. He has developed a reputation as a top-notch international recruiter during his time in the Pacific Northwest.

Lloyd will be replacing Sean Miller, who was dismissed last week after 12 seasons.

Lloyd helped Gonzaga reach the national championship of two of the past four NCAA Tournaments. The Bulldogs lost to Baylor in this season’s final.

Lloyd’s candidacy was called into question by former Arizona stars Gilbert Arenas and Richard Jefferson earlier this week.

Both players wanted the new coach to come from the Arizona family with Arenas saying of Lloyd, “I don’t even want to say his name because he doesn’t deserve it.”

Arizona reportedly strongly considered Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner (a former player and assistant coach with the Wildcats) and BYU coach Mark Pope. The school reportedly spoke with Eric Musselman, who signed a long-term extension worth $4 million annually to remain at Arkansas earlier Wednesday.

Pacific coach Damon Stoudamire — a former Arizona star — reportedly interviewed for the post. Another former Wildcats star, Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Miles Simon, also reportedly interviewed.

Lloyd will take over a program facing NCAA sanctions related to the FBI college basketball investigation from 2017.

Last month, Arizona released the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations containing five Level I charges against the school, including a lack of head coach responsibility by Miller and a lack of institutional control by the university.

Lloyd’s contract with Gonzaga designated him as the coach-in-waiting should Few leave or retire.

–Field Level Media