The Atlantic 10 ceremonially tipped off its season last Thursday, October 13th, at Barclays Arena by welcoming all 15 head coaches for its annual Media Day. There’s optimism abound, as Dayton and Saint Louis return deep NCAA Tournament focused squads, the league welcomes Loyola Chicago as its newest member, and a cadre of coaching talent enters the league.
One new coach generating excitement across the conference’s footprint is Rhode Island’s own – we can call him that now, I suppose – Archie Miller. Named the 21st coach in program history on March 18th, Miller is viewed as a home run hire in Kingston
While interviewing all coaches one-on-one for the league (think, captive audience), I leveraged the opportunity to ask a few of them about Archie’s arrival in Kingston. Here are their takes:
FRAN DUNPHY, LA SALLE – “Arch and I have coached against each other a few times. He’s a terrific coach. I think the Atlantic 10 is in a good place in a lot of ways and one of those is Archie Miller coming back to it. He’s going to do a great job, knows exactly what he wants to get accomplished, he’s a driven guy, and I think he will be very successful at URI.”
DREW VALENTINE, LOYOLA CHICAGO – “He had a ton of success in this league. When he was at Dayton they were a deep team and they are still the team all of us are chasing here. He had that thing rolling. I think it’s just a matter of time before he does the same at Rhode Island. They have the resources there that are needed, they are invested – and I have the same agent as him so I know – in what he is trying to do and trying to accomplish. He’s one of the best coaches in the country and he’s going to do what he does. The transfers they were able to get and the high school recruits they are signing are high level guys – and I expect them to be really competitive this year and moving forward.”
FRANK MARTIN, UMASS – URI fans are going to absolutely love his relentless pursuit of perfection. He is as competitive as anyone out there. His teams will represent that in the way they play. He’s a bulldog in every sense. And he does it the right way. He doesn’t dance the wrong dance. He does it the right way. In speaking with him I think he’s really excited – like I’m really excited to be in the A-10, but I’ve never been in the league. He has. He’s about all the right things and Rhode Island fans are going to find out first-hand how lucky they are that they got him as their head coach.
ANTHONY GRANT, DAYTON – Number one, Archie is a proven winner. What he’s done over the course of his career, specifically at my alma mater Dayton… he’s had a tremendous run of success. Then, knowing the history of Rhode Island, the success of the program… I think it’s one of the programs in the league that is built for success. The resources and commitment they have to basketball. It’s a great marriage and I think it’s going to be really good for our league.
Chris DiSano, is an Atlantic 10 analyst and writer. He has served as the host of A-10 Live! at Men’s Basketball Media Day and founded the former College Chalktalk. DiSano, who was named NBC Sports top Atlantic 10 basketball follow on Twitter for five straight years, can be found on Twitter at @CDiSano44