Women’s volleyball coach resigns to take position at Illinois

February 26, 2009 | News, UToday
By Steve Easton



UT Women’s Volleyball Coach Kent Miller resigned today to accept a position as an assistant coach at the University of Illinois, UT Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced.

O’Brien added that a national search for Miller’s replacement will begin immediately.

“I want to thank Kent for his 12 years of service to the University,” O’Brien said. “His teams competed hard, and they were always one of our department’s top performers in the classroom. We wish him and his wife, Melissa, nothing but the very best at the University of Illinois.”

Miller served as the Rockets’ mentor for the last 12 seasons from 1997 to 2008 and helped the program establish 11 team and 14 individual school records during his tenure.

Highlighting Miller’s career was the 2005 squad that posted an 18-13 ledger and advanced to the Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals. The Rockets also registered UT’s best conference winning percentage (.563) in school history that season with a 9-7 win-loss mark, and notched the Midnight Blue and Gold’s first two MAC Tournament triumphs ever. Miller also posted UT’s first winning record in conference play with a 10-8 ledger in the 2001 campaign, which included the second-best overall winning percentage (.607) in program history with a 17-11 mark.

“Joining the staff of Kevin Hambly at Illinois is an opportunity to work with one of the premier volleyball programs in the country,” Miller said. “Kevin and his predecessor, Don Hardin, have created a truly unique culture, and I am excited to become a part of it.

“At the same time, this is an extremely difficult time to leave The University of Toledo,” Miller continued. “The renovations to Savage Arena have created the best environment for our student-athletes in the MAC, if not the region. The returning players on this team are quality individuals — on the court and off. Combined with the incoming class of 2009 recruits, this team is poised for significant improvement and success. I look forward to following their progress next season and in the years to come.”

Miller added, “I would like to thank Mike O’Brien, Kelly Andrews and the entire department for their support throughout my tenure at Toledo. I will always cherish my time as a Rocket.”

Academics were a primary focus for the Rockets under Miller. His teams registered the Athletic Department’s highest semester GPA on four occasions, including the squad’s best ever 3.657 GPA in spring 2006 to help give UT the highest team GPA in NCAA Division I volleyball in the 2005-06 academic year.

On an individual basis, former Rocket Kate Bean was a two-time first-team selection for ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-America squad in 2005 and 2006. She was the first volleyball player in school history to earn Academic All-America accolades.

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