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New, Old CSU Coaches Like UNM's Miller

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With Tim Miles heading from Colorado State to Nebraska, could that have an impact on the New Mexico men’s basketball staff?

Miles, who turned around Colorado State in his five seasons, leading the Rams into the NCAA Tournament this season, was named coach at Nebraska on Saturday.

ESPN.com reported that Miles agreed to a five-year deal, with a rollover for a sixth year, that would pay him $1.4 million for the first year, with an automatic increase of $75,000 each year thereafter from the Big Ten school.

On Saturday, Miles told the Journal he will probably “take a couple of weeks” before naming his staff at Nebraska.

Miles won’t list candidates, but one of the guys who could be high on his list is UNM assistant Ryan Miller, who has been on Steve Alford’s staff for five years.

Miller was recruited by, and played for, Miles at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D. Miles also coached Miller’s brother, Jared, at Southwest Minnesota State University.

When asked about Miller, Miles said: “I have high, high respect for Ryan Miller as a coach and a person. It’s only a matter of time before he lands a job at a BCS school.”

As of early Saturday evening, Miller said he had not been contacted by Miles.

“Obviously I have a deep respect and a history with coach Miles and (CSU interim head coach) Craig Smith dating back to my college days as a player,” Miller said. “They both do great jobs, and coach Miles is going to do a great job at Nebraska. And hopefully they hire somebody off that same staff at Colorado State.”

Miles is likely going to wait for the Colorado State job to be filled before he decides what he’s going to do with his staff.

If Smith doesn’t get the head coaching job at CSU, he is likely to follow Miles to Nebraska. Miles has a reputation for being fiercely loyal to his staff.

If Smith gets the CSU job, Miller could become a candidate at Nebraska and Colorado State. Smith was a graduate assistant at Northern State when Miller played there.

“I definitely would consider Ryan as a strong candidate on my staff, if I get the job,” Smith said. “He is a consummate professional. He can really recruit, and he does a great job of relating to players.”

Another candidate for the Colorado State head coaching vacancy could be UNM associate head coach Craig Neal. Neal did not return a text message from the Journal asking about his interest.
— This article appeared on page D3 of the Albuquerque Journal

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