Lorenzo Romar introduced as associate head coach
Arizona men's basketball associate head coach Lorenzo Romar speaks with the media on April 20 in McKale Center. Romar joins Sean Miller's staff after 15 seasons as the head coach at the University of Washington.
Former Washington head coach and newly hired Arizona associate head coach Lorenzo Romar was introduced to the media Thursday.
Romar was hired last week after he was fired at Washington where he served as the head coach for 15 seasons; at the conference on Thursday, April 20, he wore a navy blue Nike shirt with "Wildcat Basketball Never Stops" across the chest.
"Sean and his staff and the people surrounding him have been great. We were able to get here on Monday, and I'm learning a lot about how things go around here, but it's going to be fun," Romar said.
Romar has history in McKale Center as both a player and head coach at Washington, as well as his time as an assistant coach at UCLA from 1992-1996. He said he was always fascinated by the culture and buzz Arizona fans brought to every home game and he could feel the hostile environment just from stepping off the bus.
"It's kind of bitter-sweet, because when you ... walk off the bus, and you see all of the people wearing red and the buzz that's going around with all of the people that's going to the game, you know right then that the tone is set that you're about to go up on the big stage," Romar said. "I've always noted that Arizona fans are very knowledgeable and they appreciate good basketball. ... But there's a feel and sense that this is a pretty special place to play, so now to be on this side and understand what the other side is going through, it should be pretty fun."
One of the tasks Romar is looking forward to is working with the players he once recruited years back, including Parker Jackson-Cartwright and, more importantly, Allonzo Trier. With Trier growing up in Seattle when Romar was the head coach at UW, the two already have a close relationship. Romar said he admires Trier's hunger to grow as a player.
"As a youngster, he's got great love for the game. There's a gleam in his eyes whenever a basketball is in his hand or he's watching basketball. Anything to do with basketball, there's a gleam in his eye," Romar said. "To be here every day with him is something I'm looking forward to."
Romar is set to earn $400,000 for the 2017 season and still has a $3.2 million buyout at Washington, but he comes into a job where he can focus on player development and recruiting. After all, he has coached Isaiah Thomas, Nate Robinson, Brandon Roy, Marquese Chriss and Markelle Fultz so he knows how to send players to the NBA, which just adds to the foundation that Sean Miller has built at Arizona.
At the end of the day, Romar said there will be times where he jumps up off the bench and wants to make adjustments as a head coach, but he also remembers what it's like to be an assistant, so he knows his role.
Let the fun begin.
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