BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The latest endorsement of new IU coach Archie Miller carried just a little more weight than some of the others.
Former IU coach Bob Knight spoke during an event Thursday night at Bloomington High School. He covered a variety of topics, but when former <em>Bloomington Herald-Times</em> sports editor Bob Hammel steered the conversation toward the hiring of Archie Miller, Knight offered his take.
“He comes from a really good basketball background, and I know a little bit about that,” Knight said.
As Knight told it, he called up longtime Dayton coach Don Donoher, the Flyers’ all-time winningest coach. Donoher was also on Knight’s staff as an assistant coach during the 1984 Summer Olympics. That team won a gold medal. Needless to say, Donoher’s opinion holds sway when it comes to Miller.
While Miller’s tenure at Dayton was short in comparison—he stayed for six seasons while Donoher coached the Flyers from 1964 to 1989—he acquitted himself well, directing the team to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and winning at least a share of two Atlantic 10 regular-season titles. Miller guided the Flyers to the Elite Eight in 2014.
His success definitely got Donoher’s attention.
“Without any reservation, [Donoher] said, ‘I think you and the people at Indiana will really like the way this coach goes about things,’” Knight said. “‘He’s no-nonsense, he’s tough, smart, and he wants to win.’”
The legendary coach suggested that the program will see success under Miller as long as fans support him.
“So you folks give him a good introduction, you get behind him, and I think you’re going to enjoy some good basketball.”