Passion, enthusiasm and energy is what Rams see in Miles
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Paul Kowalczyk was impressed with Tim Miles' resume - which he claims was nine pages long. "Six pages for work experience and three pages for marketing," Kowalczyk said. "I would say the inverse could be true." Kowalczyk was...
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Paul Kowalczyk was impressed with Tim Miles' resume - which he claims was nine pages long.
"Six pages for work experience and three pages for marketing," Kowalczyk said. "I would say the inverse could be true."
Kowalczyk was referring to the passion, energy and enthusiasm Miles has for coaching college basketball. Those traits were big reasons Kowalczyk, Colorado State's athletic director, named Miles his men's basketball coach Thursday.
But as much as Kowalczyk was impressed with Miles, and what he accomplished the last six seasons during North Dakota State's transition to Division I, Miles took just as much notice of Kowalczyk's resume.
"Look at who Paul has hired in the past," Miles said. "It's pretty impressive. It's a big reason I trust him a lot."
While Kowalczyk was athletic director at Southern Illinois for six years before coming to Colorado State last year, two of his hires were basketball coaches Matt Painter and Chris Lowery. Painter guided Purdue to the NCAA Tournament this year. Lowery's Southern Illinois team lost a West Region semifinal game Thursday night 61-58 to Kansas.
"They both had that passion, that fire, that intensity I think is absolutely critical in being successful," said the 49-year-old Kowalczyk. "The difference between hiring Matt Painter and Chris Lowery and Tim Miles is Tim has the experience.
"He has been a head coach and he has the same X-factor whether it's the passion or the intensity or the energy. I don't know. But he has it."
And what Miles has is a five-year contract guaranteeing him $400,000 a year. He also has a chance to earn $250,000 worth of incentives - such as coach of the year honors, Mountain West Conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances.
Miles was earning $117,000 a year at NDSU. And his predecessor at Colorado State, Dale Layer, was earning only a guaranteed salary of $240,000.
That's an abrupt change in philosophy at Colorado State, considering it ranks last in the Mountain West Conference in basketball budget, coaching salaries and overall budget.
Colorado State President Larry Penley, who passed up an opportunity to address a House committee in Denver so he could attend Miles' press conference, said the Colorado Board of Governors agreed last fall that athletic success should be a major part of their long-range goals.
"Basketball needs to be a priority," Kowalczyk said. "We need success in men's basketball as much as football - not only from an image standpoint but from a financial standpoint, too."
Kowalczyk, banking on the same hunches he had when he hired Painter and Lowery, said he is convinced Miles is the coach to make basketball a success. He not only was impressed with how Miles built winning programs at Mayville State, Southwest Minnesota State and NDSU, he boasted about NDSU's academic progress rate of 981 - which ranks higher than 90 percent of the men's basketball programs in the country.
Penley made it very clear what he wants from Miles.
"We want him to win and we expect him to win, not only the conference but we expect him to win at the (NCAA) tournament that we're not in today," Penley said.
Miles wasn't fazed by the challenge.
"I've been listening to what they expect," Miles said. "It's no different than what we've been hearing the last six years in Fargo. North Dakota State prepared me extremely well for this opportunity."
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