Miami names new men’s basketball coach

Former Xavier coach Travis Steele takes over program

Eight days after Miami and men’s basketball coach Jack Owens parted ways, RedHawks director of athletics David Sayler announced on Thursday that former Xavier coach Travis Steele had been named as the program’s 28th coach.

A press conference introducing Steele is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. at the Randy Gunlock Family Athletic Performance Center in the Gloor Auditorium. The press conference is open to the public.

Steele, a Butler University product, was 70-50 in four seasons with the Musketeers, which was his first head coaching position. He was unable to lead Xavier to an NCAA Tournament appearance, a four-year drought that was the program’s longest since going from 1962 through 1982 without making an appearance.

Like Miami and Owens, Xavier and Steele “parted ways” on March 16. Owens was 70-83 in five seasons as Miami’s coach.

“Travis Steele brings with him an exceptional recruiting pedigree and results,” Sayler said in a press release. “He also brings unmatched energy, a CEO-like-vision for where Miami Basketball can and should go, and a relentless work ethic to match that vision. He is the right person to raise our program to the next level and put us back in the upper echelon of the Mid-American Conference and beyond.”

Miami, the winningest program in MAC history, has won 21 league titles and made 26 postseason appearances. The RedHawks’ last NCAA Tournament appearance was in 2007.

“I am honored and thrilled to be named the next head men’s basketball coach at Miami,” Steele said. “Miami University’s blend of elite academics, beautiful campus, and deep commitment to the success of its student-athletes creates a unique advantage. I am excited to get to work.”

In addition to recruiting two nationally-ranked classes among the top 20 as head coach, each of his student-athletes graduated during his time at Xavier. As an assistant at XU, he also helped secure two top-10 nationally-ranked recruiting classes, made four NCAA Tournament appearances — twice advancing to the Sweet Sixteen — and won a conference championship.

Steele, 40, has coached at the high school, AAU, junior college and Division I levels.

He was hired as the director of basketball operations at Xavier in 2008 before being elevated to assistant coach in 2009 and then associate head coach in 2015, and ultimately, head coach in 2018. Prior to Xavier, Steele worked on the staff at Indiana University. He joined the Hoosiers in August of 2006, taking on the duties of video coordinator. He also served as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Wabash Valley College (2005-2006) and spent a year with the Ohio State basketball program as a graduate manager (2004-2005) under Thad Matta.

From 2001-2006, Steele was a coach for the Spiece/Indiana Adidas Elite AAU Basketball program. He also was an assistant varsity coach at Ben Davis High School while attending Butler University. .

Steele, the brother of current University of Akron head coach John Groce, is a native of Danville, Ind.. He and his wife Amanda reside in Cincinnati with their sons, Winston and Anderson.

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