Santa Cruz Warriors Head Coach Aaron Miles Draws on Past Experiences

PHOENIX - OCTOBER 19: Aaron Miles
PHOENIX - OCTOBER 19: Aaron Miles /

The Santa Cruz Warriors held an introductory press conference for new head coach, Aaron Miles, on Tuesday.

Miles talks about his background as professional basketball player and how it could possibly affect his coaching style and/or his relationship with his players.

The Santa Cruz Warriors held a press conference to introduce new head coach, Aaron Miles, on Tuesday. A number of city officials, along with a select group of season ticket holders, attended the presser to formally welcome Miles to Surf City.

Some may not recall Miles playing 19 games with the Golden State Warriors back during the 2005-06 season; in fact, he doesn’t quite recall entirely, either. But as the new head coach for Golden State’s G-League affiliate, Miles, 34, is prepared to take up the helm in Santa Cruz, and he’s truly grateful for this new opportunity.

"“First of all, I just want to say thank you all for welcoming myself and my family,” Miles said, beginning the press conference. “I’m honored to be in this position, and I’m honored to be a part of this organization. I’m looking forward to building relationships with not only the organization, but [also] the City of Santa Cruz — and obviously, the players — and having a great season.”"

After his storied college career at Kansas, Miles played for a number of different teams throughout his 10-year playing career, serving stints overseas, in the NBA D-League (now “G-League”), and in the NBA. He recently transitioned into the coaching chair, becoming an assistant at Kansas before moving on to become an assistant at Florida Gulf Coast.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

While it’s certainly unfortunate to see former head coach Casey Hill move on to a new venture, many in the Warriors organization are confident that Miles is ready to lead the next generation of Santa Cruz Warriors players despite him being rather new to coaching.

Santa Cruz Warriors general manager, Kent Lacob, is among those backing Miles. When asked about what exactly makes the Warriors brass so confident that Miles is the man for the job, Lacob said it was a combination of a number of different things, particularly Miles’ background as a former professional basketball player.

"“When you have a one-on-one conversation with him, you can really get a feel for the presence that he brings — that he’ll be able to relate to the players — and I think a lot of that stems from his past experiences,” Lacob said. “As a player, specifically for the G-League, what he’s been through is something that every player can relate to.”"

When asked about how he personally thinks his playing career could affect his relationship with his players, Miles said his story is definitely one to which G-League players will be able to relate.

"“I can say that I’ve sat in the same seat that they’re sitting in; I’ve sat in the same seats that they’re going to sit in; I’ve sat in some of the seats that they want to get to,” said Miles. “So I think I’m able to relate to them from that standpoint.”“I was the star player on the team at one point. I was the 15th man on the roster as a practice player. Understanding how to be a professional in that role is important.”"

When asked about his goal this season, Miles said that while the best case scenario would be a title, his goal for his first year in the G-League will likely revolve around learning the ropes and developing his players as best he can.

"“A goal of mine…ultimately — if everybody can get a call-up and we win a championship,” Miles said, laughing. “That’d be great. But realistically, a goal of mine is just to get better every day as a coach and to help these players develop every day.”"