When the process of finding a new coach began it was really keying in on landing Archie Miller. However, as time went on it started to look more and more like Miller was eyeing the potential opening of the Ohio State job. That too changed when OSU publically stated that Thad Matta would be returning next season. So where does that leave the situation, exactly?
Well, tonight Miller will face off against another past-potential NC State target, Gregg Marshall of Witchita State. Should Dayton fall, the game really begins for the Wolfpack. There is no doubt that State will engage Miller. The former Wolfpack point guard is probably the hottest mid-major coach on the market, has ties to Raleigh and the timing couldn’t be better (Miller is losing a talented senior class that has brought him most of his success.) The question is, will Miller listen?
This is his alma-mater. He has friends here. His wife’s family is local. While all of that doesn’t mean he’s likely to take the job, we think he’ll listen at the very least out of generosity.
So the question we are posing is, what would it take to get Miller to Raleigh? There is not going to a hometown bargain here. This is a guy who is rocketing his way up the coaching ranks. A few more big seasons at Dayton and he’ll be the front-runner for nearly any big-time job that opens up. That means NC State needs to not only come in strong with an offer, they need to blow Miller away. If this is NC State’s #1 guy, and we believe it is, they need to be ready to compensate him well enough that any questions he has about the decision to come to NC State falls into the background.
We are talking big money. We’re talking $3 million plus money. We might be talking $3.5 range when all is said and done. But that’s not all. A big salary isn’t going to be the only thing NC State needs to pony up to pull Miller. They need to provide security. That is the biggest detractor from this job. Whether it was Herb Sendek or Mark Gottfried, the word on the street is that NC State has a quick trigger with their coaches. Fair or not, that needs to be addressed in this offer. That means long-term with a large buyout. Too risky, you say? When you’re bidding for a guy like Miller it’s a high stakes game. If you, as a program, view Miller as your home run then you go and you get him. You don’t lowball him or hedge your bets. You go all in.
This is the difference between a good program and a great program. Does NC State have the confidence in their vetting process? Do they have confidence in their evaluation process? Do they know what they want? What they need? If you want to be a great program then you need to know yourself. You need to know your fanbase and your expectations. You need to pinpoint what is necessary to take your program to the next level. That way, when you find that person, then you go get him. No questions asked.
Will the Wolfpack put their hesitation at bay and make the offer needed to reel in Archie Miller, or will they play it safe and make another value hire? I think that is the answer we’ll get in the next few days.