Over the past 15 years, Lorenzo Romar stated repeatedly that he hoped to end his coaching career at the University of Washington. That didn’t work out — Romar was fired late last month following a 9-22 clunker season (his worst) — but now he has been hired as the associate head coach at the University of Arizona under Sean Miller. The Wildcats made the announcement here.
Romar will replace Joe Pasternack, who left Arizona to become the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. According to multiple reports, Romar was hired primarily for his ability to recruit on the West Coast, which will only add to Arizona’s recruiting prowess: The Wildcats have generated a Top-10 class in six of the past seven years.
“It’s an exciting day for Arizona basketball to be able to welcome Lorenzo Romar and his family to our basketball family,” Miller said Saturday in a school-released statement. “Lorenzo’s accomplishments in this game speak for themselves, including his successful tenure as the head coach at Washington for the last 15 seasons.
“However, his dedication to his players, passion for this game and impeccable character is what everybody that knows him loves about him. He will no doubt make a significant impact in all aspects of our basketball program as we continue to build and improve in all that we do.”
“Of all the potential opportunities that were out there for me, joining the Arizona program was the one that was the most appealing,” Romar said. “I truly believe Sean Miller is one of the best coaches in America. The opportunity to join him, his staff and the rich tradition of Arizona basketball is something that I’m extremely excited about.”
Romar, replaced by Mike Hopkins of Syracuse three weeks ago, won more games at Washington than any coach in school history, going 298-196. Although he had two Sweet Sixteen appearances in his portfolio and coached Nate Robinson, Brandon Roy, Isaiah Thomas and Terrence Ross, among more than a dozen NBA draft picks, his Huskies failed to reach the NCAA Tournament for six consecutive seasons.
Last season was by far Romar’s worst as the Huskies dropped the final 13 regular-season contests, a school record, even though they featured the probable No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, Markelle Fultz.