The Flyers tip off against Stanford on Thursday night in Memphis about two hours before Sean and the Wildcats hit the floor.
The divergent paths ended up in the same place, making them the first brothers to coach different teams in the Sweet 16 in NCAA tournament history.
“It’s very special,” Sean said after the Gonzaga game. “We’re both the product of a great family, but in particular our dad being who he is, not only a great high school coach - maybe one of the best ever, at least in our opinion - but also a great dad. It was that combination of so much time spent that you know he gave us an understanding of the game, a love of the game, and I think we’re both probably coaches because of him. Today is a special day in my mind more for him.”
John Miller was a legendary high school coach in western Pennsylvania who won four state titles and over 600 games. He could have gone on to coach in college, maybe even continued to the NBA, but opted to stick to the high school ranks, in part so he could stay close to his family.
John was not easy on Sean and Archie, rarely giving them praise, constantly driving them to become better players, instilling a hard-working attitude that would carry them through the rest of their lives.
Sean was dribbling prodigy who appeared on national television and did exhibitions at local gyms. He was the starting point guard at Pittsburgh and left as the all-time Big East leader in career assists and 10th in Division I free-throw percentage.
After 12 years as an assistant, Sean became the head coach at Xavier, where he led the Musketeers to the Elite Eight and Sweet 16 from 2008-09 before resurrecting an Arizona program that had fallen into turmoil.