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Arizona hires a new assistant coach

Drake v Creighton

OMAHA, NE - JANUARY 8: Head coach Mark Phelps of the Drake Bulldogs watches his team during their game against the Creighton Bluejays at the CenturyLink Center on January 8, 2013 in Omaha, Nebraska. Creighton defeated Drake 91-31. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

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Arizona made a move to fill its opening assistant coaching spot on Monday as the school announced the hiring of veteran coach Mark Phelps. The Wildcats announced the hiring in an official release.

Phelps is a former head coach at Drake and has also spent time as an assistant coach with NC State, Arizona State, Missouri and, most recently, Marquette. He’ll replace the spot left by former Arizona guard Damon Stoudamire, who took an assistant coaching spot in Memphis to be closer to his sons.

“Mark Phelps and I have known each other since 1996, when we started working together at NC State,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said in the release. “Since then, Mark has been the head coach at Drake University and worked as an assistant coach in some of the most competitive conferences in college basketball, including the Pac-12.

“He is a person of high character, an excellent teacher of the game and a relentless recruiter. He represents the ‘total package’ as an assistant coach. I am excited to add him and his family to our staff and the future of Arizona basketball.”

The loss of a former alum and NBA veteran like Stoudamire was going to be a hard spot to fill, but Miller did a nice job getting a veteran coach who has succeeded at a number of different spots.