TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona head men’s basketball coach Sean Miller announced Monday that Mark Phelps is set to join the Wildcats as an assistant coach.
The Virginia Beach, Va., native will bring 19 years of experience at the Division I level, including five as head coach at Drake University, to the UA bench. He has made 13 postseason appearances as a college coach, including five trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Phelps also has experience working with Miller, as the two spent five seasons together as assistants at North Carolina State from 1996-01.
“Mark Phelps and I have known each other since 1996, when we started working together at NC State,” Miller said. “Since then, Mark has been the head coach at Drake University and worked as an assistant coach in some of the most competitive conferences in college basketball, including the Pac-12.
“He is a person of high character, an excellent teacher of the game and a relentless recruiter. He represents the ‘total package’ as an assistant coach. I am excited to add him and his family to our staff and the future of Arizona basketball.”
Phelps spent the 2014-15 season assisting first-year head coach Steve Wojciechowski at Marquette. Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach at Missouri during the 2013-14 campaign.
As head coach from 2009-13, Phelps guided Drake to 77 wins and a pair of postseason appearances. His 77 wins are a program record for a head coach in his first five years at the school, and his victory in the first round of the 2012 CIT was the program’s first postseason win in nearly four decades.
“My family and I are very excited to join the Arizona basketball family,” Phelps said. “The elite reputation of this university and of Wildcat basketball is recognized across the country. Having previously coached in the Pac-12, I have a unique vantage point on how special this program is.
“I am grateful to Sean Miller and Greg Byrne for this tremendous opportunity. I’m very much looking forward to reuniting with Sean and joining his outstanding staff. I have great respect and admiration for the longstanding, rich basketball tradition at UA and for the significant accomplishments of Coach Miller and his players over the last six years. It will be an honor for me to give everyone in this program my absolute best each and every day.”
Phelps spent the two seasons prior to his arrival at Drake as associate head coach at Arizona State following a 10-year run as an assistant coach at NC State. During his tenure with the Wolfpack, Phelps helped lead the program to 191 wins and a total of nine postseason berths, including five-straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Prior to joining the college coaching ranks, Phelps was a highly successful high school coach in his native Virginia. He led Rock Church Academy to a 104-41 record from 1990-94 and Atlantic Shores Christian School to a 44-12 mark from 1994-96.