Former NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Miles Simon returns as an assistant coach
TUCSON, Ariz. ?- University of Arizona men’s basketball coach Lute Olson today announced the hiring of Miles Simon as an assistant coach and a subsequent reorganization of his coaching staff.
Simon, 29, joins the Arizona men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach following a six-year professional career that saw him play in the NBA, CBA and in four foreign countries. Since his retirement as a player in December 2004, he has been in Tucson completing requirements towards a B.S. in Family Studies. He completed those requirements on July 20.
“I am very thankful and very blessed for this opportunity,” said Simon. “I want to thank the university, the city of Tucson, the fans, the athletic depart and, most importantly, Coach Olson for the ability to begin my coaching career at the University of Arizona.”
A four-year letterman for the Wildcats from 1994-98, Simon was a second-round pick of the Orlando Magic in the 1998 NBA Draft. He averaged 0.4 points, 0.2 rebounds and 0.2 steals for the club during the 1999 campaign before playing professionally in Israel, Italy, Venezuela and Turkey over the next five years.
He enjoyed his best season as a professional in 2001-02 playing for the Dakota Wizards of the Continental Basketball Association. That season Simon averaged 23.0 points and 5.1 assists per game in leading the Wizards to the CBA championship. Along the way, he was named league Most Valuable Player, Newcomer of the Year and playoff MVP. Simon tallied game-high totals of 24 points and nine assists in the championship-game victory.
A 6-foot-5 guard from Fullerton, Calif., Simon was a first team All-America selection in 1998 by the Associated Press, the John R. Wooden Award, The Sporting News and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He also earned all-Pac-10 Conference and NABC all-District 15 honors as a senior. In 114 career appearances (90 starts), Simon averaged 14.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.
During his UA career, Simon helped the Wildcats to a 106-27 (.797) record, the 1997 national championship and one Pac-10 championship (1998). He finished his career ranked seventh on Arizona’s career points scored list with 1,664, while ranking sixth with 455 career assists and fourth with 176 career three-point field goals.
In 14 career NCAA Tournament games, Simon averaged 18.4 points per game. En route to Arizona’s 1997 national championship, Simon averaged 22.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as he was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
“I’m very excited to add Miles to our coaching staff,” said Olson. “I think he will be an outstanding addition. It really is a luxury to have added two highly energetic people to our staff who were great players and take great pride in the Arizona basketball family.”
Simon’s hiring necessitated a reorganization of the coaching staff responsibilities, as he will occupy the third assistant coaches position. Associate head coach Jim Rosborough and assistant coach Josh Pastner will remain in their current positions.
Reggie Geary will become the recruiting coordinator and coordinator of basketball operations. In that position, Geary will handle all recruiting organization and supervise the program’s daily office operations. Geary joined the staff on June 2.
Ryan Hansen, former coordinator of basketball operations, has elected to pursue an opportunity within the athletic department’s development office. He will serve as a liaison between the men’s basketball program and the development office in the funding of several planned capital projects in this new role. Hansen, who served in his previous position for eight years, will remain the color commentator for all UA radio broadcasts.
Jack Murphy will serve as the program’s video coordinator in 2005-06. He will oversee the Wildcats’ video operations and assist in video editing and exchange as designated by the coaching staff. Murphy originally joined the Wildcat program in 1998 as a student manager.
“This reorganization will be great for Arizona basketball,” said Olson. I’m excited about the makeup and energy of the staff. Having Reggie spearhead our recruiting efforts will ensure that we continue to bring in outstanding players and people into the program.”
Set to begin his 23rd season in Tucson, Olson and his staff are scheduled to open the 2005-06 season at the EA Sports Maui Invitational on Nov. 21 vs. Kansas. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on ESPN.