There are at least three reasons hiring Associate Coach Lorenzo Romar is an excellent hire!
Sean Miller and the Arizona Men’s Basketball program hired Lorenzo Romar as the new associate head coach on Saturday. Romar will replace former assistant Joe Pasternack, who was introduced as the head coach of the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos on April 4th. He is reportedly set to earn $400,000, which is a 32-33% increase of Pasternack’s salary of $302,000 as Miller’s right-hand man.
Miller and Arizona did not just make the home run hire, and they hit a grand slam! Yes, Romar was fired after 15 seasons as the head coach of the Washington Huskies after a 2017 campaign saw UW go 9-22, winning only two conference games. Don’t let Washington’s poor record over the last few years scare you away from Romar, though. Romar brings three essential things to Tucson.
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Sean Miller is entering his ninth year at the helm of the Wildcats, making him the longest-tenured coach in the Pac-12, one year longer than Dana Altman and Tad Boyle, and two years longer than Larry Krystkowiak.
Miller’s ‘title’ as the “Dean of Pac-12 Basketball” was relinquished by Romar, who was six years Miller’s predecessor. This means that the two coaches who led teams through the transition from Pac-10 to Pac-12 are now both occupying Arizona’s bench. (Ernie Kent coached in the Pac-10 with Oregon and now coaches in the Pac-12 with Washington State, but was not coaching in the final year of the Pac-10 and the inaugural year of the Pac-12).
Miller does have 13 years of head coaching experience in total, but it can never hurt to add another 21 years of experience to your bench.
With Pasternack’s departure to Santa Barbara, Arizona lost arguably its best recruiter. Enter Romar.
Despite leading a struggling program, Romar was still able to attract top-tier talent to Seattle.
Local Washington prospects like Brandon Roy and Tony Wroten stayed home to play for Romar and UW. He was also able to recruit elite talent with no former ties to Washington, such as California’s Marquese Chriss, who now starts for the Phoenix Suns, and Maryland’s Markelle Fultz, who many expect to be drafted No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft in June.
With UCLA on the rise, it is important for Arizona to continue to stake its claim as the top dogs in the West Coast recruiting world. Romar does just that for the Wildcats while opening up numerous new Seattle connections.
Over the last few years at Washington, although Romar has definitely had some stars, he has never had the pedigree of players 1-13 on the roster that Arizona continually boasts year after year.
Romar had shifted UW’s offense into a star-focused, one-on-one offense out of necessity; he could not put five reliably proficient guys on the floor. With his move to Arizona, and subsequent access to undoubtedly one of the best rosters in America, Romar can begin to get back to the up-tempo, fun to watch the offense that saw Isaiah Thomas defeat Arizona at the buzzer in 2011.
Coach Romar says he’s in no hurry to leave this program. Just seeing him in his Wildcats Basketball Never Stops is a stupendous feeling.