CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga is already looking forward to 2017-18 — and at least several more seasons after that.
When recruits and their parents ask the 67-year-old Larranaga how much longer he plans to coach, he responds that he wants to continue as long as he can.
“I had a dad who said he heard a rumor I was going to be retiring,” Larranaga said Wednesday. “I said, `Well, that’s fake news right there.’
“I have no intentions of retiring. I love the University of Miami. As long as they’ll have me, I’m going to be here.”
Larranaga is under contract until 2022.
“The kids who are now sophomores in high school, I can still tell them I’m going to be here,” he said.
Larranaga led this season’s young Hurricanes to a 21-12 record and an NCAA tournament berth.
They’re likely to be in the preseason Top 25 next fall, with two players projected as possible first-round picks in the 2018 NBA draft — Bruce Brown, who averaged 11.8 points as a freshman this season, and incoming freshman Lonnie Walker of Reading, Pennsylvania, Larranaga’s most highly touted recruit since he came to Miami in 2011.
Even if the outlook wasn’t so bright, Larranaga said, there would be no temptation to retire.
“Temptation? Are you kidding me?” he said. “I have so many friends who have retired who are miserable. I talked to a friend of mine the other day and he says, `I’ve got to get back working. There’s nothing to do.’
“You can’t keep busy enough to feel like you’re doing things that are worthwhile. I’m not a golfer. I don’t play tennis anymore. My fun is being on the court with the players. As long as I can be productive, and as long as my players enjoy being around me, I’m going to continue to coach as long as I can.”