The coach that brought relevance to CSU basketball is gone.
Following an NCAA Tournament berth with a short-handed and undersized team, it stood to reason that Tim Miles would start getting calls from programs in big conferences.
That happened when Nebraska, a member of the Big 10, started pursuing him.
Friday Miles visited Nebraska’s facilities and met with athletic director Tom Osborne. He then flew back to Fort Collins where he met with CSU athletic director Jack Graham and President Tony Frank. At that meeting he told them of his decision to take the job at Nebraska.
He then met with his players later Friday night.
Graham released a statement saying “Tim Miles, our men’s head basketball coach, has advised us today that he accepted the head coaching position at the University of Nebraska.
“We sincerely appreciate all that Tim has done for CSU basketball and our university. His contributions enabled us to rejuvenate our program – we have had many great successes under his leadership.”
ESPN is reporting that the contract is five years with a rollover for a sixth. He will be due $1.4 million a year and then escalators take the salary up $75,000 a year. The contract would be an estimated $8.7 million over six years.
Nebraska, and the midwest as a whole, has been a recruiting hotbed for Miles. The current CSU team has four players from the state of Nebraska.
Miles led the Rams to a 20-12 record and its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2003 this season.
He went 71-88 in his five seasons at CSU, going winless in conference play in his first season. He was hired by former athletic director Paul Kowalczyk from North Dakota State.
Miles signed a three-year contract extension last summer with CSU that boosted his salary to $585,000 this year and to $750,000 a year beginning July 1. That contract, which would have run through the 2015-16 season, was given to him by Kowalczyk.
He started his career at Mayville State before coaching four seasons at Southwest Minnesota State and six at North Dakota State.
“While we are disappointed with his departure, we remain confident in the short- and long-term success of our basketball program,” Graham’s statement said. “We have an outstanding team returning next year and we fully expect a return trip to the postseason.
“We will begin a national search to find an individual who shares our excitement about the future and is committed to build on and improve our success and traditions at Colorado State.”
A member of the CSU media relations department told the Collegian that no players would be available for comment Friday night.
Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.