Phelps third former ASU assistant to join Arizona Wildcats in last seven years


Arizona's reported new assistant Mark Phelps

The reported hire of Mark Phelps to replace the departed Damon Stoudamire on Sean Miller’s staff with the Arizona Wildcats means three former ASU aides will join the program in the last seven years.

The others are Russ Pennell (the Arizona Wildcats’ interim coach in 2008-09) and Miller’s brother Archie (2009-11).

Phelps served on Herb Sendek’s initial two years in Tempe from 2006-08. Archie Miller was also part of Sendek’s staff in the first season of 2006-07.

Sendek, fired at ASU in March after nine seasons, also once had Sean Miller on his staff at North Carolina State.

Coincidentally, Phelps and Archie Miller replaced Pennell and other ASU assistants when Rob Evans was fired in 2006. Pennell coached under Evans from 1998 to 2006.

Phelps was 2-2 against Arizona as an ASU assistant, including a season sweep over the Wildcats in 2007-08. The Sun Devils and James Harden beat the Kevin O’Neill-coached Wildcats 59-54 that year in Tucson, ending a five-game losing streak at McKale Center.

That was the game in which Jerryd Bayless set the Arizona freshman scoring record with 39 points.

Phelps, 49, is the sixth coach to serve as an assistant to Sean Miller, who has completed six seasons in Tucson.

The others:

Book Richardson (still on staff)
Archie Miller (head coach at Dayton)
James Whitford (head coach at Ball State)
Joe Pasternack (still on staff)
Damon Stoudamire (Memphis lead assistant)

Notes: Stoudamire’s return to Memphis means two of Arizona’s most decorated athletes coach for the Tigers. Ricky Hunley, the best football player in the history of the program, joined Memphis’ staff as the defensive line coach last season. … Phelps coached five seasons at Drake after leaving ASU in 2008. He compiled a record of 77-86. He served as an assistant at Missouri and Marquette the last two years. … Stoudamire rejoins former Arizona player and assistant Josh Pastner at Memphis. Pastner is entering his seventh season as head coach. … Other former-ASU-to-Arizona ties: Athletic director Greg Byrne and softball coach Mike Candrea are ASU alums.

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