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March 23, 2012

NU to officially introduce Miles Saturday

The University of Nebraska announced on Friday evening that Colorado State's Tim Miles will be introduced as their new men's basketball coach on Saturday.

A press conference has been scheduled for 11:30 am CT at the Hendricks Center on Saturday morning. Miles was in Lincoln visiting on Friday and touring the campus and the basketball facilities.

"Tim Miles is an ideal fit to lead our men's basketball program at Nebraska," NU athletic director Tom Osborne said in a statement. "He has built successful programs at four schools at different levels of college basketball. Tim is from this part of the country, has recruited the Midwest and will relate well to our players, prospective recruits and our fans."

It's been reported that NU and Miles have agreed to a seven-year deal that would pay $1.4 million annually. ESPN is also reporting the deal would start at $1.4 million per year and then increase $75,000 each season.

The full contract, according to ESPN, would be worth an estimated total of $8.7 million.

Miles, 45, replaces former head coach Doc Sadler, who was fired after six seasons in Lincoln earlier this month. Miles had just received a three-year contract extension in May to stay at CSU, which would have increased his salary to $750,000 annually through 2016.

By comparison, Sadler was making roughly $900,000 per year following his contract extension last year.

Miles emerged as one of the hot names on the coaching radar over the past few weeks. After going just 7-25 and 0-16 in the Mountain West in his first season at Colorado State, the Doland, S.D., native has led the Rams to three straight post-season appearances, including a 20-12 record and trip to the NCAA Tournament this season.

Before taking over at CSU, Miles coached at North Dakota State (2001-07), Southwest Minnesota State (1997-2001) and Mayville State (1995-97). His career record as a head coach is 285-227, and he was 71-88 in five seasons at Colorado State.

In his 17-year head-coaching career, Miles has guided his teams to four 20-win seasons and three conference championships

Miles' turnaround of Colorado State earned him quite a bit of praise nationally this season, as he was also being considered as a candidate for the Illinois opening at one point.

One factor that makes him an intriguing hire for NU is the fact that he built his current CSU team around several Nebraska-born players - something for which Sadler and his staff were heavily criticized.

The Rams featured a total of four Nebraska natives on their 13-man roster this season, including Jesse Carr of Ainsworth, Wes Eikmeier of Fremont, and Dwight Smith and Greg Smith of Ralston.

That's also not to mention other regional players such as Colton Iverson of Yankton, S.D., and Dorian Green of Lawrence, Kan.

Eikmeier (15.5 points per game), Green (13.1 ppg) and Greg Smith (9.4 ppg) were Colorado State's top three leading scorers this past season.

The Huskers, on the other hand, only had four Nebraskans on their roster, with only one of which - forward Mike Fox of Beatrice - seeing any notable playing time.

But with Friday's announcement, Miles comes to Nebraska during one of the most important periods in the program's history.

With all the momentum of a brand new practice facility, a new downtown arena and a fan base desperate for success, Miles looks to have all the tools at his disposal to do what no NU coach has been able to do - lead the Huskers to their first NCAA Tournament victory.

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