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Miller’s promise of ‘the long haul’ music to Arizona’s ears


Sean Miller had to “pause and consider” the Maryland job, which was stressful for Arizona fans. Monday brought far more comforting words:

I’m here for the long haul, unconditionally.”

He’s certainly not the first coach to express his devotion to a program after spurning another. He probably means it, too. Arizona’s an elite program, built through the years by Lute Olson into a place that won titles and produced NBA players. Miller’s been there two years, but is already on his way.

Just remember, the long haul doesn’t mean forever. There are always better jobs out there, no matter how good a coach’s situation is.

But if Miller does ever leave Arizona, this weekend made it clear he’s not leaving for just any school. The mix of recruiting base and tradition makes Maryland’s the ACC’s third-best job, which makes it among the 15 best jobs in the country.

Besides, Arizona compensates Miller extremely well (he was making at least $2 million a year before his recent contract extension), he has a stellar 2011 recruiting class (and more presumably on the way) and he and his wife, Amy, like living in Tucson despite reports to the contrary.

“There is a misconception that my wife doesn’t like Tucson, or maybe my family is looking to get back East. I’m 42 years old; I’ve lived out East for 40 years. Is that something that means something to us? We have a lot of friends back there, yes, but my wife loves Tucson, Arizona,” he said. “Just so you know, one of the big reasons we’re here today is because of her.”

Miller may eventually move back East. But it won’t be soon and things would probably have to change.

So who loses in all of this? Other Pac-10 schools.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.