The Arizona basketball program has hired Tommy Lloyd as its new men’s basketball coach.
Early reviews for the move are very positive.
Lloyd, 46, helped lead Gonzaga to a lot of success during his time as an assistant coach in Spokane.
Gonzaga lost to Baylor in the 2021 national championship game, but it wasn’t the Zag’s first success in the annual March tournament.
Gonzaga also appeared in the 2017 championship game in Glendale, and the team has made the tournament every year since Lloyd joined the staff in the 2001-02 season.
Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, who first reported the news, wrote that Arizona “may have hit a home run with the hire.”
He wrote: “Lloyd, has been an assistant coach under Few for the past two decades and is best-known as arguably the premier international recruiter in college basketball. But that’s selling him short. He’s far more than just a guy who can cross the border and bring back talent. Sure, Lloyd has lured guys like Domantas Sabonis, Kevin Pangos, Kelly Olynyk, Killian Tillie, Rui Hachimura and Joel Ayayi to Spokane. But he’s also crushed it on the transfer market, landing Brandon Clarke (San Jose State), Kyle Wiltjer (Kentucky), and Andrew Nembhard (Florida), and has been able to land top high school players such as incoming freshman guard Hunter Sallis — the Omaha native who is ranked in the top 10 nationally. And Lloyd has taken on a ton of the coaching responsibilities over the years. All you need to do is talk to any of the former players, or watch a game, to see how involved he is in the X’s and O’s.”
More Arizona basketball:
Others shared their reaction to the hire on social media:
Several former Arizona players were pushing for the team to hire Damon Stoudamire, a former Wildcats star who is the head coach at Pacific, while others just wanted them to hire someone with ties to the school.
Lloyd does not have those ties, but Goodman wrote that Lloyd can change their minds.
He wrote: “I feel badly for Stoudamire, Simon and Pastner. This was obviously their dream job. But I don’t feel badly for the former Arizona players. Lloyd may not have been a part of the Arizona family, but that changes now.”