Cincinnati Bearcats: Wes Miller hired to lead basketball program

Credit: Kathy Kmonicek

Credit: Kathy Kmonicek

Cincinnati Bearcats basketball has a new coach.

Wes Miller was hired Wednesday to replace John Brannen, who was fired last week after a handful of players entered the transfer portal and an ensuing investigation into the program he had established in two seasons leading the Bearcats.

In a news release, UC director of athletics John Cunningham called Miller “an extremely dynamic coach and mentor who impressed me with his drive, focus and attention to detail.”

Miller comes to the Queen City after winning a school-record 185 games in 10 seasons at UNC-Greensboro.

The Spartans won the Southern Conference regular season four times in his tenure and made the NCAA Tournament twice, including this past season when they lost in the first round to Florida State.

“He’s a proven winner as a head coach and was able to rebuild a program and lead a remarkable turnaround at UNCG over the last decade,” Cunningham said. “We cast a very wide net in this search and Wes emerged as the right coach to lead the Bearcats into the future.”

Miller, 38, is a Greensboro native who played at North Carolina for Roy Williams and has spent his entire coaching career in the Tar Heel State. He graduated high school in New Hampshire and spent one season playing at James Madison before transferring to UNC, where he was a team captain for a squad that won the ACC and advanced to the Elite Eight.

“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 a press 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!”

Miller received a six-year contract that is pending approval by the UC Board of Trustees.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be the head coach at the University of Cincinnati,” Miller said in a release, thanking Cunningham and UC president Neville Punto.

“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.”

Brannen was 32-21 in two seasons with the Bearcats after a successful run at Northern Kentucky. The 12-11 record in 2020-21 was the program’s worst since it was 13-19 in 2007-08, Mick Cronin’s second season.

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