Tommy Lloyd had long been set to succeed Mark Few at Gonzaga and eventually run the program he played a big role in building into a national power. But there are some jobs an assistant cannot turn down.
Arizona is one of those jobs.
So when the offer was made, Lloyd accepted. And now it's his responsibility, as a first-time head coach, to return Arizona to national prominence despite lingering NCAA issues created by the previous staff.
"While there are certainly potential obstacles ahead for our program, I embrace the challenge as we build on the foundation in place to compete for the Pac-12 and national championships," Lloyd said after his hiring was officially announced by the school. "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 work begins now."
Make no mistake, it will be work.
As previously noted, Lloyd is taking over a program charged with five Level I violations because he's replacing a staff (led by Sean Miller) that allegedly provided impermissible benefits to student-athletes, accepted bribes, and committed academic fraud.