‘Great One-Two Punch’: Arizona Wildcats’ Tommy Lloyd Reminisces Partnership With Gonzaga Bulldogs’ Mark Few

Published 04/20/2021, 5:30 PM EDT


The Gonzaga Bulldogs were one win short of a historic 2020-21 season. Despite the lack of a championship, it was an incredible effort from the players as well as the coaches. An underrated part of their success, former assistant coach, Tommy Lloyd left the Zags recently to join the Arizona Wildcats as their head coach.

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Lloyd was part of the Zags under Coach Mark Few for over two decades. After getting his position based on a prior obligation, Lloyd became an indispensable member of Few’s coaching staff. In a recent interview, he spoke about how it feels to leave Few after working with him for more than 20 years.

“You work with a guy for 22 years, there (is) a lot of communication with no communication.” Lloyd said. “We had a great chemistry and I’m going to miss that. It was a great one-two punch. I loved being the number two guy for him.”

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“I’m sad that we won’t be doing it together. But I’m thankful for the time we had, thankful for him taking a chance on a nobody, thankful for him preparing me for this opportunity.”

Looking back at Tommy Lloyd’s career with the Gonzaga Bulldogs

Few’s predecessor Dan Monson scouted Lloyd while he was playing in junior college. At that time, he said that the Bulldogs wouldn’t offer him a scholarship, but if he ever got into coaching, they had a place for him. By the time Lloyd got into coaching, Monson had left and his assistant Few had taken over. He still kept Monson’s promise and brought in Lloyd as an administrative assistant.

At that time, he didn’t have a specific role and was promoted to full-time assistant a year later. Few wanted him to focus on recruiting primarily, and since then he became their international recruiter, bringing in talents from across the world. One of his finds, Oumar Ballo, is also joining him at Arizona.

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Lloyd seemed destined to be the successor to Few at Spokane. But a surprising vacancy at Arizona was too hard to pass up for him. So after two decades serving behind Few, Lloyd finally his first break as a head coach.

It is a deserved promotion for him, and Gonzaga fans will also be eager to see him succeed in his new venture.

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Aaron Mathew

1525 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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