James Whitford, who joined the Miller staff as an assistant in 2005, spent the previous 11 years working on staff at Miami University (Ohio), including seven years as the top assistant to head coach Charlie Coles.
"James, like Chris Mack, is ready to become a head coach," said Miller. "James has a special way of caring about and relating to our players. He is also an excellent teacher of the game. In particular, he understands our system defensively and has made our program better in this area. He is also a very effective and a hard-working recruiter."
Whitford, 37, spent 11 years with the Miami basketball staff. In his most recent position as the top MU assistant, he coordinated recruiting efforts, assisted in all facets of team and player development including practice planning, individual instruction and preseason conditioning. He was also involved in a variety of daily operations, including game scheduling, budgets and student-athlete class scheduling.
Whitford was a part of three NCAA Tournament appearances, two NIT appearances and four Mid-American Conference regular season championships. Over his 11-year span, Miami recorded a 201-130 (.607) overall mark. The RedHawks were 19-11 in the 2004-05 season, while winning the Mid-American Conference Regular Season Championship with a 12-6 record and earning a berth in the NIT.
Whitford spent two years as an administrative assistant on the Miami staff in the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons. He moved from a part-time position to a full-time position as an assistant coach in 1997, replacing former Xavier head coach and Miami assistant coach Thad Matta on Coles' staff. In June of 1998, he succeeded Ray Martin, who was named the Long Island University head coach, as Miami's top assistant.
Before coming to Miami, Whitford was a student at the University of Wisconsin. Whitford received a bachelor's degree in political science from Wisconsin in 1994.
The Madison, Wis., native served as a student manager for the Badger basketball team for three seasons, including head manager during the 1993-94 campaign. During his junior year, 1992-93, Xavier head coach Sean Miller was an assistant coach for the Badgers.
"I have known Sean for a long time, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, said Whitford. "I also have a tremendous amount of respect for Xavier, which has a rich tradition of success in college basketball, both on and off the court."
Whitford, who was born July 23, 1971 in Madison, Wis., is married to Amber Whitford, an assistant women's basketball coach at Xavier. The couple welcomed their first child, William, in October.