Miller Named Finalist for Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coach of the Year
Head coach Curt Miller is one of eight finalists for Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coach of the Year after being named Region 6 Coach of the Year
March 26, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head women's basketball coach Curt Miller has been named the 2014 Russell Athletic/WBCA NCAA Division I Regional Coach of the Year for Region 6 as announced by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) on Wednesday. With the regional recognition, Miller becomes one of eight finalists for National Coach of the Year.
Miller earns his fifth WBCA Regional Coach of the Year honor as he also earned the recognition during his head coaching tenure at Bowling Green State University in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2012.
All regional winners are finalists for the inaugural Pat Summit Trophy that will be presented to the Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coach of the Year. Other region winners in 2014 include Geno Auriemma of Connecticut (Region 1), Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame (Region 2), Dawn Staley of South Carolina (Region 3), Jennifer Roos of Bowling Green (Region 4), Kim Mulkey of Baylor (Region 5), Ryun Williams of Colorado State (Region 7) and Scott Rueck of Oregon State (Region 8).
The 2014 Russell Athletic/WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year will be announced during the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday, April 7, in the Omni Nashville Hotel's Broadway Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four.
Miller is in his second season at the helm of the Indiana program and in just two years has changed the culture of IU women's basketball. With a roster consisting of nine first-year players including seven freshmen, the Hoosiers have won 20 games so far this season, marking just the sixth time in program history an IU team has won 20 or more games. Indiana sits just one win shy of tying the school record for wins in a single season. Those 20 wins are also significant because Miller inherited a program that won just six games the year prior to his arrival and 15 total wins in the two years combined before he moved to Bloomington.
In 10 of his last 11 years as a head coach, Miller has won 20 or more games. During that 11-year stretch, his teams have averaged 24 wins per season. Indiana earned its first postseason berth since 2009 this year and will play in the round of 16 of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Thursday vs. Northwestern. Miller has now made nine postseason appearances (NCAA/WNIT), all within the last 10 seasons.
In 2013-14, Miller's first true recruiting class of freshmen have combined to score more points than any other freshman class in the Big Ten. First-year players brought in by Miller this season (freshmen/redshirts/transfers) have combined to score 76.2 percent of Indiana's points so far this year.
Miller's offense this year also set a school record for most 3-pointers made in a single season and currently Indiana has hit 240 this year. That total ranks third all-time in Big Ten history for most 3-point field goals made in a season. It is just the second time in program history an IU team has connected on more the 200 3-pointers in a single year.
Under Miller's guidance, point guard Larryn Brooks is having one of the best freshman seasons in Indiana history. Brooks owns IU freshman single season records for points (511) and free throws made (119) while also setting single-game marks in points (37), assists (10, twice) and 3-pointers made (7). She ranks second among Hoosier freshmen all-time in 3-pointers made (60) and assists (146). Brooks is the first IU freshman to ever score 500 or more points in a season. Brooks earned Second Team All-Big Ten honor and was named to the conference's All-Freshman Team this year.
Russell Athletic and the WBCA present the national coach of the year award annually in each of the six WBCA membership divisions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III; NAIA; junior/community college and high school). This is the 32nd year since 1983 that the WBCA has presented this honor to an NCAA Division I head coach.