OXFORD, Ohio — Just weeks after parting ways with Xavier University, the Muskies' former head coach Travis Steele is heading up the road to Oxford. Steele was introduced on Friday as the head coach.
"I've had a long affinity for Miami," Steele said at Miami University when he was introduced Friday afternoon.
Steele talked about the "top-notch" education at Miami as a draw for him to come to Oxford, in addition to the "beautiful" campus and the team's previous success as the winningest team in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).
The Indiana-native also noted that he has spent his "entire life" recruiting and coaching in Miami's region.
"My goal is to compete for MAC Championships," Steele said. He said his priorities are building relationships, developing the players and recruiting.
Steele said he and his family went down to Florida and he said he was getting "bored" between the time he was dismissed from Xavier in early March and the hire at Miami that was announced Thursday.
"Travis Steele brings with him an exceptional recruiting pedigree and results," said David Sayler, Miami Director of Athletics. "He also brings unmatched energy, a CEO-like vision for where Miami Basketball can and should go, and a relentless work ethic to match that vision. He is the right person to raise our program to the next level and put us back in the upper echelon of the Mid-American Conference and beyond."
He spent more than a decade at Xavier, working under Sean Miller and Chris Mack before he was promoted to head coach in 2018.
While the RedHawks are the winningest team in MAC history, Miami has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2007. During his tenure as head coach at Xavier, Steele posted a 70-50 record with two NIT appearances.
Steele was under contract at Xavier until the 2024 season, but a third-straight season collapse and zero NCAA Tournament appearances during his tenure proved to be too much for fans. During a loss to Seton Hall in February — the team's third loss in a four-game skid — chants of "Fire Steele" rang out at Cintas Center.
Xavier athletic director Greg Christopher said in a release about the "mutual" agreement to part ways, Steele led the team "with the utmost character and in a first-class manner."
"I have tremendous respect for Travis, and he's been a part of Xavier Basketball for more than a decade, playing an important role in some of the program's greatest accomplishments," Christopher said. "We collectively appreciate all that Travis has given to Xavier and wish him the best moving forward."
Former head coach Sean Miller is returning to Xavier for his second stint with the Musketeers. Xavier just won the NIT Championship after Steele left under the guidance of interim coach Jonas Hayes.
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