NEW YORK — IU Coach Archie Miller traded candy stripes for pinstripes for a day.
In his first time on the big stage of Big Ten Media Day, Miller wore a pinstripe suit coat, which fitted perfectly in New York City.
It was his first conference media day as head coach of the Hoosiers.
“I think you try to take a step back and try to reflect and think big picture on how far you've come and how you got here, really, to be honest with you,” Miller said. “How am I sitting here? And as much as I sit here in awe about the opportunity to represent Indiana and all the great things that comes with that program.”
Miller’s coaching journey began as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky in 2003. Now, 14 years later, he’s coaching under the bright lights of the Big Ten Conference.
He said it might be a daunting experience, but he is still confident.
After being hired in March, he’s had time to settle into the job and has gotten used to all that comes with being the head basketball coach in Bloomington.
“He’s very comfortable,” senior forward Collin Hartman said. “You can see it just in his demeanor in practice and how he talks to guys and runs the practice and just moves around campus.”
Miller spent six years in Dayton, Ohio, while serving as head coach at the University of Dayton.
After spending the past few months in Bloomington, he called it a very welcoming place.
“You get into your own routine wherever you’ve been at for a long period of time, and you have your thing, your routes, your drive-to stop at in the morning for coffee,” Miller said. “We’re going through a whole new routine in Bloomington. I’ve always said this. I’ve been shocked at the beauty of Bloomington. The campus is as impressive as any I’ve been on.”
On the practice court, Miller is all business, and his players note how he brings the energy during practice.
“He’s definitely a high-intensity guy,” senior guard Robert Johnson said. “He like things done a certain way, with a certain energy level. When things are not done that way, he can get a little irritated.”
Even with a couple practices under his belt, Miller said he still enjoys being able to practice in Bloomington, where so many great teams and players have practiced.
“Every time you go to practice and walk on the floor, you kind of look around and say, ‘There’s been some unbelievable practices in this place at one point in time,'" Miller said. "I can only imagine what it was like for Isaiah Thomas to practice in Assembly Hall.”
Off the court, Miller is a coach players can turn to. While he might be intense on the court, his players say he’s even keel off of it.
“He’s a really cool coach,” senior point guard Josh Newkirk said. “You can talk to him about anything. Any issues that you’re dealing with, he’ll help you. He’s just a cool guy, down to earth.”
Hartman said he’s a laid-back guy, who can be quiet, unless you approach him about something.
He might be calm away from basketball, but he has a plan and is sticking to it. He understands the weight of the job he took and isn’t running from it.
He wants to be a part of something big.
“I feel very confident that as I sit here, you know, I think I know what we do works,” Miller said. "I believe in what we do. I think it's going to take some time, some ups and downs like every person, but just can't deviate from it. So I'm excited."
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