Wes Miller leaves UNCG for Cincinnati

The former UNC player had coached the Spartans for a decade

UNCG coach Wes Miller is looking to repeat as Southern Conference champion and earn another bid to the NCAA Tournament. (Kathy Kmonicek / AP Photo)

UNC Greensboro basketball coach Wes Miller has had his name swirling in coaching rumor mills for weeks. When UNC, his alma mater, didn’t choose him as its next coach, he made a move anyway.

Miller, 38, was named the new coach at Cincinnati on Wednesday, agreeing to a six-year contract to succeed John Brannen, who was fired after just two seasons with the Bearcats. The deal is reportedly worth $8 million.

Miller was 185-135 in 10 seasons at UNCG, had 20-win seasons in each of the last five years and led the Spartans to the NCAA Tournament twice, including this season.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be the head coach at the University of Cincinnati,” Miller said in a statement issued by the school. “I’m thankful for President (Neville) Pinto and (AD) John Cunningham for bringing me into the Bearcats family. I am honored to lead such a storied program and excited to get to work.

“I also can’t thank UNCG enough because I wouldn’t be here without my players and athletic director Kim Record. This last decade coaching the Spartans has been extremely rewarding.”

Miller played under coach Roy Williams from 2004-07 and was considered a strong candidate to replace him in Chapel Hill when the Hall of Fame coach announced his retirement following the season. The Tar Heels instead promoted longtime assistant Hubert Davis, another former player.

Wes Miller is one of the most outstanding young coaches in our game and what he did at UNC-Greensboro makes me believe he is the most outstanding,” Williams said in release. “As a player at North Carolina he came closer to reaching his full potential than any player I’ve ever coached. His energy, his determination, his intelligence and his care for young people convinces me that he will continue at that level. I am so happy for him and the University of Cincinnati Basketball program and I look forward to being in the stands!”

The Bearcats were 12-11 this season under Brannen and dismissed the coach after six players announced they were transferring amid allegations against the coach.

Miller will be introduced at news conference Friday at 11 a.m.