It took a little more than three weeks, but the wait was well worth it.
On Saturday afternoon, Ball State and Athletic Director Bill Scholl announced that Arizona Associate Head Coach James Whitford would be the 19th Head Coach for Men's Basketball in the shool's histroy.
Whitford, who is just 41 years old, replaces Billy Taylor at the helm. Taylor was fired on March 14th.
Groomed in the Mid-American Conference, where he spent 11 seasons learning under one of the conference's coaching legends - Charlie Coles at Miami, Whitford has spent the past 4 years on the staff at Arizona, including the past 2 as Associate Head Coach.
Including his 4 years at Arizona, Whitford as spent 8 seasons on the bench of Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller, the other 4 were for Atlantic-10 Powerhouse Xavier.
"We are thrilled to add James Whitfordto the Ball State family as our new men's basketball head coach," Scholl said via a press release by Ball State. "In a very talented pool of candidates. James separated himself from the pack based on the success he has experienced at multiple instiutison and the vision he has for Ball State Basketball."
Ball State, which has struggled for the past 10 seasons, but had built a solid tradition prior to that period, is an excellent opportunity for the hard working Whitford.
In my mind, Ball State offers the best combination of academic excellence, basketball tradition, outstanding arena and fan support of any school in the Mid-American Conference. When you add the unparalleled recruiting base in the state of Indiana and the great teaching those high school players receive from their various coaches, the job became one I targeted over the last few weeks."