In just five years as the University of Dayton’s men’s basketball coach, Ryan “Archie” Miller has gone from being one of the top young assistant coaches in the country to be one of the handful of coaches known across the nation with just the mention of one word. “Bo.” “Shaka.” “Roy.” “Thad.” And “Archie.”
Miller, now 38, was named the Flyer coach in April 2011. His five-year record of 115 wins and 55 losses includes four trips to the post season, three consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament and an Elite Eight run in 2014.
The three straight NCAA berths mark the first time that has happened at Dayton in 49 years.
With three NCAA wins in 2014 and another two in 2015, Dayton was one of just six teams to have at least five NCAA tournament wins in those two years. The others were Arizona, UConn, Kentucky, Michigan State and Wisconsin.
After an unexpected Elite Eight run in the 2014 NCAA tournament, Miller had to replace three starters and four seniors from that team. Despite having a depleted roster that featured just six players who were recruited to Dayton and no active player taller than 6-foot-6, Miller led his Flyers to a 27-9 overall record and to the third round of the 2015 NCAA tournament.
He was named a finalist for the 2015 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award.
The Flyers' 78 wins in from 2013-16 match the best three-year period in school history.
Following the 2015-16 campaign, the University upgraded and extended head men's basketball coach Archie Miller's contract through the 2022-23 basketball season.
“Our relationship with Archie continues to recognize the exceptional achievement of our men’s basketball program under his leadership and strongly affirms our mutual commitment to long-term success,” UD Vice-President and Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan said when the contract upgrade was announced. “We share a common vision of graduating student-athletes, consistently competing for conference championships and advancing in the NCAA Tournament.”
Miller's 115 wins is the best five-year start in Dayton history, just ahead of Flyer coaching legends Don Donoher (111) and Tom Blackburn (107).
Miller came to UD from the University of Arizona where as Associate Head Coach he helped the Wildcats to a 30-8 season in 2010-11 that ended with an Elite Eight berth.
He was reunited with his brother during the summer of 2015 on the coaching staff of USA Basketball’s U19 World Championship. When Sean was elevated to the team’s head coach, he turned to his brother to help USA basketball win the gold at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship that was held June 27-July 5 in Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
The two brothers first coached together at Arizona. Archie went to Arizona when Sean was named the Wilcats’ head coach in 2009. Archie spent two years at Arizona. After going 16-15 in 2009-10, the Wildcats had the biggest turnaround of any top program in the country, improving by 14 wins to 30-8 in 2010-11.
In just eleven years as an assistant coach before coming to Dayton, the Beaver Falls, Pa. native was able to coach in the ACC, the Big Ten and the Pac 10 while working in some of the nation’s most fertile recruiting grounds in the East, Midwest and West. His wide range of responsibilities at all of his coaching stops allowed him to learn from three of the most-respected coaches in the country while developing contacts from coast-to-coast. Every one of these experiences has prepared him to be a Division I head coach.
With all of his stops as a college player and assistant coach, Miller has a great appreciation for what about Dayton basketball is all about.
"The University of Dayton is a special place. We have everything we need to be among the best," Miller said. "My family and I love being here and we are very appreciative of all the support that's come our way since we arrived. There hasn't been a day where we haven't felt that support or belief in what we are working toward."
“Before I came here, I always had great respect for the Dayton Flyer basketball program, the University of Dayton, and the Dayton community, and even more respect for how they are so intertwined.”
“I don’t take lightly for one second the opportunity or responsibility in front of me,” he added. Our program is one of the rare programs that stacks up with any in terms of the total package of athletics, academics and community support.”
“I’ve said many times, I am thankful and honored to be the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Dayton. We can continue to do great things here."
Miller is regarded as a top recruiter – Arizona’s 2011 recruits were a Top 10 class – and game strategist – he was the architect of Arizona’s upset of eighth-ranked Texas to get them to the Sweet 16.
That really shouldn’t be a surprise. Basketball is the family business. Archie and Sean both played high school basketball for their father John at Blackhawk High School. John was one of the country’s top high school coaches when he retired in 2005, with 657 wins in a 35-year coaching career. Archie, Sean and their sister Lisa all played Division I college basketball.
In April, 2015, Archie joined his father and brother in the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. Other greats in the Beaver County Hall include Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, Terry Francona, Pete and Press Maravich, Joe Namath, Babe Parilli and Norm Van Lier.
Archie and Sean Miller are one of just four Division I head coaching brother combinations. The Drews -- Scott (Baylor) and Bryce (Valpariaso); The Hurleys – Bobby (Arizona State) and Dan (Rhode Island); The Jones Joe (Boston U.) and James (Yale); and The Millers – Archie and Sean. Archie and Sean Miller are the first brothers to coach different teams in both the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight in the same season (2014), and the first to coach their respective teams in three consecutive NCAA tournaments.
Archie was a four-year letterwinner at North Carolina State (1998-2002). A point guard with an excellent shooting touch, he is currently third at NC State in career FT% (.846, 165-195), sixth in career 3-pt. FG% (.429, 218-509), and fourth in career threes (218). As a senior, he helped lead the Wolfpack to the finals of the ACC championship game and was named to the all-tournament team. That season was coach Herb Sendek’s first NCAA team at NC State.
When his playing days were over, Miller began his coaching career at North Carolina State, serving as a coaching intern under Sendek in 2002-03. Miller then went to Western Kentucky as a full-time member of Darrin Horn’s staff for one season.
He returned to NC State, first as Director of Basketball Operations (2004-05), and then as a full-time assistant coach (2005-06). When Sendek went to Arizona State in 2006-07, Miller remained on his coaching staff before joining Thad Matta at Ohio State for two seasons (2007-09).
As a coach, he has been part of 20-plus win and NCAA seasons at NC State (2005-06), Ohio State (2008-09), Arizona (2010-11), and Dayton (2013-14 & 2014-15).
Miller earned his bachelor’s degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from NC State in 2002. He and his wife Morgan have an 11-year-old daughter, Leah.
The 19th coach in Dayton history, Miller is just the sixth Flyer coach in the last 68 years.