The Warriors Hired Their New G-League Coach and It’s a Bigger Deal Than You Might Think

The Santa Cruz Warriors are expected to hire former Kansas standout and current Florida Gulf Coast assistant Aaron Miles as their next head coach, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

The goal for the Warriors organization is to foster a relationship between Steve Kerr and Miles. They want to grow a synergy between the two teams. To take what made them successful in the first place and instill it through the entire organization. This is Golden State — The Program.

As the Warriors continue to grow (and win), it will become increasingly difficult to sustain the kind of depth they relied on during the 2014 championship run. In Golden State’s world of supermax contracts and dominant starting lineups, it will help a great deal if homegrown talent makes it from the G-League to the Warriors’ rotation.

This is where Miles comes into the picture. He is best known for his four-year career at Kansas, where he starred as a speedy, pass-first point guard under both Roy Williams and Bill Self. He ranks ninth in NCAA history 954 assists (a Big 12 record) and played in two final fours.

Miles was recruited to by Roy Williams Kansas to play fast. His backcourt pairing with Kirk Hinrich made for one of the most electric combinations in college basketball. It was no Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, but it was ahead of its time for the college game.

Miles had an “It Factor” that made him a fan-favorite. His plays were often flashy and effective, smart yet dazzling. Those who watched him play remember him for passes like this:

And for doing stuff like this:

In 2005, the Golden State Warriors signed the Portland, OR., native to a partially guaranteed deal as an undrafted free agent. It was his only stint with an NBA team. Miles went on to have a 10-year career playing professionally in top leagues overseas.

Miles’ coaching career was born out of a torn labrum that required surgery in 2015. He joined Self’s staff at Kansas working in student-athlete development while he rehabbed, and became an assistant coach at Florida Gulf Coast the following year.

The Warriors believe Miles’ career of both successes and setbacks will give him a genuine ability to connect with players. While they want to grow players, it will also benefit The Program to grow coaches.

If Miles coaches like he played, it will blend well with Golden State’s philosophies. He excelled in moving the ball. He was selfless, the kind of player who would give up a fast break layup so a teammate could dunk. And he was small, too much so to ever have an NBA career.

If the Warriors have it their way, his career could just be getting started.