Damon Stoudamire could be in the mix to become next Arizona head coach

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Chris Burkhardt
·2 min read
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Stoudamire could be in the mix to become next Arizona HC originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

Now that the college basketball season is officially over the coaching carousel is starting to speed up. 

On Wednesday the Arizona Wildcats fired head coach Sean Miller, leaving a vacancy at one of the most prestigious basketball programs in the Pac-12.

In the current landscape of college sports, hiring former players is all the rage.

On the gridiron coaches like Jim Harbaugh, Scott Frost, Jonathan Smith, Kalani Sitake, and David Shaw all call the shots for teams they used to play for. 

On the basketball court, the trend is starting to take hold as well with coaches like Juwan Howard at Michigan and Patrick Ewing at Georgetown both taking their alma maters to the NCAA tournament this past season. 

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With the new opening at Arizona, the school could look to former players to fill the void. One player that should be on that shortlist: Former Trail Blazers point guard and Portland native Damon Stoudamire.

According to CBS, Stoudamire is a name to watch. "Stoudamire is an all-time great former Arizona player who has helped Pacific make progress over the past five seasons. Though just 71-77 overall as a head coach, he won the WCC Coach of the Year honor last season after leading the Tigers to a 20-win season, and they were 9-9 this season. As a former NBA Rookie of the Year, former Arizona star, ex-Wildcats assistant and current college head coach, Stoudamire checks basically every box you can think of. He scored 1,849 points under Olson and led Arizona to the 1994 Final Four and is revered at the school."

Stoudamire was a star at Arizona where he helped the Wildcats earn two Pac-10 conference titles, four-straight NCAA tournaments births, and a trip to the Final Four in 1994. He was named to the all-freshman team in 1992, made three straight All-Pac-10 First-Teams, and was the 1995 Pac-12 Player of the Year.

Since 2016, Stoudamire has been the head coach at Pacific, leading the Tigers to a 71-77 record.

A former star player that has already spent time as a Wildcat assistant and currently has five seasons of head coaching experience under his belt - Stoudamire makes perfect sense of Arizona. 

Will his alma mater give him a call? Time will tell, but it's safe to say Rip City is rooting for Mighty Mouse to get his shot.