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Ball State goes to Arizona for new head coach

The SportsXchange

James Whitford is the new men's basketball coach at Ball State. Whitford, an assistant to Sean Miller at Arizona, replaces Billy Taylor, who was fired March 14 after six seasons.

The school will introduce the 41-year-old Whitford on Wednesday.

"We are thrilled to add James Whitford to the Ball State family as our new men's basketball head coach," Ball State athletic director Bill Scholl said. "In a very talented pool of candidates, James separated himself from the pack based on the success he has experienced at multiple institutions and the vision he has for Ball State basketball."

Whitford had been on Miller's staff at Arizona for four years, the past two as associate head coach. He has been with Miller for eight seasons, dating back to Miller's days guiding Xavier.

Whitford helped Arizona to an average of 27 wins per season in his final three years in Tucson, including a 30-win campaign in 2010-11 that featured a Pac-10 Conference championship and an appearance in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

Taylor was 84-99 in six seasons at Ball State. He was hired in 2007 amid alleged racial turmoil at the school.

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