Five Questions with James Whitford

WildcatAuthority.com caught up with James Whitford, who will soon be promoted to Arizona associate head coach, to get his reaction on Archie Miller leaving and what the staff is looking for in a replacement.

WildcatAuthority.com: What was your reaction to Archie leaving?

James Whitford: I'm really happy for Archie. It's a great opportunity and I think he didn't want to leave Arizona but an assistant coach can't turn an opportunity like the University of Dayton down. I'm happy for him and it's a great opportunity. We're going to miss him, both his friendship and his work, but Arizona is a great place and there are a lot of good coaches who will want to fill his spot so I'm sure we'll hire a good coach.

WildcatAuthority.com: How did the players respond to the news?

James Whitford: I think like us, they're disappointed that he's gone but happy that he's in a good position personally. He's meant a lot to all of us in this program so they miss him but they understand it's a big opportunity for Archie and they all respect that.

WildcatAuthority.com: How difficult will it be to find someone to replace everything Archie brought to the table?

James Whitford: Every coach is different. We're going to miss Arch, no question about it, because he did a great job and he's a very, very hard worker who put in long hours, but at Arizona there's a long history of guys like Arch who are hard workers and want to come here because of the history of the program.

I'm sure we'll find someone else who is also very talented. We're going to miss Arch but this is a place that attracts great coaches and Sean (Miller) will find someone else to do the job.

There's a lot of people who are interested. The tradition of this place speaks for itself and I think most people want to work for a guy like Sean. There's been a lot of interest early and there will continue to be a lot of interest. I think Sean will take his time because it's a big hire and it's more important that we get it right than we get it quick.

WildcatAuthority.com: Are you looking for more of a recruiter, more of a coach, or a good combination?

James Whitford: I think the total package. Sean has always liked his staff to be that way. Myself, Book (Richardson) and Arch, we all had full responsibility in both the coaching and recruiting side and that's the way we've always done it under Sean. We'll find someone we feel like is strong in both areas.

WildcatAuthority.com: How does your role change now being a coach down temporarily?

James Whitford: I think Book and I both have to step up, especially when we're one man down to make sure we're not missing a beat. We're down to two assistant coaches and we'll make sure we have all ends covered. We'll step it up and make sure we cover ground until we find a third person.

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