Can Archie Miller Keep his Job at Indiana?

Archie Miller has been the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers since the 2017 season, but the results have not gone as expected. The Hoosiers are yet to reach the NCAA Tournament under his tutelage — even though they would’ve certainly made it in 2020 before the season got cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic — and they finished the regular 2020-21 campaign by dropping five games in a row and six of the last seven.

That’s not what the school envisioned when they hired Miller four years ago. Due to the bad results and the lack of success in the program as a whole in recent years, it’s fair to wonder whether Miller can stick around for one more season at Indiana. The results haven’t been there and the 42-year-old head coach is on the hot seat, but no decision has been made yet. Let’s dive a bit deeper into the Hoosiers’ season to determine whether Miller can stick around for one more year or not.

The Bloomington-based franchise is used to playing in Tourney games, so Miller’s track record since his arrival certainly stands out as a negative for him. The Hoosiers are 7-12 in conference play this season and 12-14 overall, as they sit in 10th place of the Big Ten standings. This is Miller’s first season with a record under the .500 threshold, as he has led Indiana to 16-15, 19-16 and 20-12 records in his first three years with the program.

Indiana’s record in conference play has been underwhelming, though. He posted a 9-9 mark in his first year leading the Hoosiers, but the other three years have been disappointing as well — 8-12, 9-11 and 7-12, respectively. That just doesn’t fly in Indiana, a program that’s used to play in the NCAA Tournament more often than not. All season long the public betting percentage has been against the Hoosiers, which is not a good sign for your job security when the bettors are feasting on your losing record. 

The biggest negative aspects regarding a potential firing, however, are two: the lack of a potential replacement, and the fact that Miller is still under contract for two more years and is owed nearly $10 million. The only way the Hoosiers would have to fire Miller is if they have a clear upgrade ready over him, and that’s far from a reality. Can Indiana’s athletic department pull off paying out that buyout money and rallying the cash for a $30 million contract — and potentially another huge buyout — to lure someone like Chris Beard, Scott Drew, John Beilein, Bobby Hurley or Mick Cronin? Probably not.

It’s not a secret that things are shaky at Indiana. However, Miller might have one more year to prove his worth in what has been a disappointing four-year tenure with the Hoosiers thus far. He has never looked like the right fit for the program, but it seems he will have one more chance at the job — mostly due to external factors and not because he’s earned it, though.

Miller has posted a 67-56 overall record with the Hoosiers, going 33-43 in Big Ten play.

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