It’s official: Gonzaga’s Tommy Lloyd is off to Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. — After 20 years on the sidelines for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, longtime assistant coach Tommy Lloyd is heading to the desert to become the next head basketball coach at the University of Arizona.

Arizona made it official just before 5 p.m. Wednesday night, ending days of speculation about who would take over for embattled coach Sean Miller.

Lloyd’s five-year contract has to be approved by the Board of Regents.

“We are thrilled that Tommy and his family are joining the Wildcat Family and reestablishing our men’s basketball program among the elite in the nation,” said University of Arizona Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. “After speaking with a tremendous pool of candidates, and with so many in and out of the college basketball world, it became clear that Tommy has the passion, the experience, the knowledge, the coaching and recruiting acumen and the drive to lead us to championships. He has been a big part of the incredible rise and success of Gonzaga Basketball and is well-respected for his partnership with that program’s head coach, Mark Few. We are looking forward to what’s next, and we welcome Tommy, Chanelle and their children, Liam, Sophia Marie and Maria Alexis to Tucson.”

Lloyd was instrumental in the Zags’ success over the last 20 years. He’s largely credited for recruiting some of the biggest names in Gonzaga basketball and is known for his ties to international players.

He comes to Arizona fresh off a loss in the NCAA championship game.

Lloyd faces real challenges with a program that is facing punishments and the fallout from a bribery scandal. A former assistant went to prison for bribery and Arizona faces five level one violations that it did not have institutional control over the program.

Previous coach Sean Miller was fired earlier this month.

“I am extremely grateful to President Robbins and Dave Heeke for the incredible opportunity to lead one of the country’s most storied men’s basketball programs,” said Lloyd. “While there are certainly potential obstacles ahead for our program, I embrace the challenge as we will build on the foundation in place to compete for PAC-12 and national championships. I know how much Arizona Basketball means to the institution, its fans, its community and the state, and I cannot wait to get started. That works begin now. My family and I are excited to settle in Tucson and begin a new chapter.”

Gonzaga has not yet made an announcement, but fans and former players tweeted their support.