(Photo courtesy of Santa Cruz Warriors)
The Santa Cruz Warriors on Wednesday officially named former Kansas Jayhawks great Aaron Miles as their new head coach.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to introduce Aaron Miles as the new head coach of the Santa Cruz Warriors,” General Manager Kent Lacob said in a press release. “Aaron has stood out as a leader at every stop in his playing career and as a collegiate assistant coach. We are confident that he will be a tremendous fit for our team and our organization.”
Miles, 34, becomes the franchise’s third head coach. He replaces Casey Hill, who stepped down earlier this summer after leading the Warriors for four seasons and winning a championship in 2015.
“I’m really excited to join the Warriors organization and to become part of the Santa Cruz community that has supported the team through 31 consecutive home sellouts,” said Miles, who played for the Golden State Warriors during his rookie NBA season in 2005. “I look forward to building upon the success of the organization’s first five seasons into one of the NBA G League’s model franchises.”
Miles most recently served as an assistant coach at Florida Gulf Coast University, helping the Eagles to a 26-8 record, the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament title and a berth in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Miles previously served on Bill Self’s staff at the University of Kansas during the 2015-16 season as assistant director of student-athlete development.
“As a player and as a member of my coaching staff, Aaron Miles has proven himself as a leader both on and off the court,” Self said in a press release. “I’m confident Aaron will distinguish himself as a terrific head coach in the NBA G League and wish him the very best in Santa Cruz.”
Miles enjoyed an illustrious playing career at the University of Kansas, where he led the Jayhawks to a 110-28 record and back-to-back NCAA Tournament Final Four appearances in 2002 and 2003. The 6-foot-1 guard played four seasons under coaches Roy Williams and Bill Self, owning career averages of 8.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.9 assists, while setting the Kansas and Big 12 career record for assists with 954.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Miles appeared in 19 games with the Golden State Warriors as a rookie and later appeared with the Fort Worth Flyers and Reno Bighorns of the NBA G League.
Miles also spent eight years playing internationally, including a three-year stint in Russia’s VTB United League, where he helped BC Krasmye Krylya win the 2012 and 2013 Russian Cups. He was named the 2013 Russian Cup MVP.
His previous international stops also include seasons with Panionios BC (2008-09) and Aris BC (2009-10) in the Greek Basket League, Cajasol Sevilla (2007-08) in the Spanish League Caja ACB, and with Élan Béarnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez (2006-07) in the French League LNB Pro A, where he won the French Basketball Cup Championship.
“Aaron has tremendous experience and basketball knowledge to share with our players and fans,” said Warriors President Chris Murphy in a press release. “I believe he will be a terrific ambassador for the Santa Cruz Warriors organization and an exemplary member of the Santa Cruz community.”