Head Coach Mike Miller
Messiah head women’s basketball coach Mike Miller doesn’t just lead the Falcons program. He is Messiah College women’s basketball. Entering his 26th year at the helm in 2011-2012, Miller’s 471 wins are more than any other basketball coach — men’s or women’s — in Messiah College history, while Miller became just the 27th NCAA Division III women’s basketball coach to reach the 400-win plateau in the history of the sport back in ’07-’08. His 471-192 career record (a .710 winning percentage) is impressive, but pales in comparison to what he’s done most recently: Over the last 12 years, Messiah has reached the NCAA National Tournament every season, while Miller has racked up an overall 293-54 record, equating to an incredible .844 winning percentage.
A 1983 Messiah graduate, Miller began coaching the Falcons in the 1986-87 season, his first as a collegiate head coach. He methodically led the program to national prominence, as the 1996 season was the program’s first 20-win campaign — producing an overall record of 20-8 — and first NCAA Tournament berth. Since then, the program has only raised its own standard of excellence, recording a minimum of 22 wins per season from the 1999-2000 season to the 2009-2010 campaign. The Falcons advanced to the 2008 NCAA Division III National Championship game, falling to Howard Payne University to finish as national-runners up. Prior to that year, Messiah’s 2000-2001 season stood as the most successful in program history, as the ’01-’02 squad also reached the National Championship before falling to the University of Washington-St. Louis.
The ’01-’02 version set a school-record 28 wins in 2002-2003, a mark bettered by the ’07-’08 squad's 30-3 record. Messiah has won eight of the last 11 Commonwealth Conference Championships, while rattling off 51 consecutive regular-season league home game victories, a span that concluded in 2009-2010, but not before encompassing eight years.
Miller has garnered a variety of awards for his coaching prowess, being named Commonwealth Coach of the Year in 1994-1995, 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2002-2003, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. He was named the NCAA Middle Atlantic Region Coach of the Year in 2002-2003, while Messiah has become a staple in the post-season: The Falcons made it to the second round in ’95-’96, ’99-’00, ’01-’02, ’03-’04, ’05-’06, ’06-’07, ’08-’09 and ’09-’10, while making it to the round of ‘Sweet 16’ in 2004-2005. The program qualified to the ‘Elite 8’ in 2003-2004, while the 2007-2008 season served as a bookend to the team’s only other trip to the Final Four in 2000-2001.
A coach set on teaching principles both on and off the court, Miller’s teams have always achieved in the classroom, evidenced by repeated appearances at the top of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll. Messiah finished with the best team GPA among all NCAA Division III programs following the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 seasons, and claimed the number two slot following the 2007-2008 academic year. The team has appeared in the Academic Top 25 in 10 of the 13 years the award has been in existence, finishing in the top eight on nine different occasions.
Miller's integrity and dedication to women's basketball has given him the opportunity to serve as a member of the Commonwealth Conference Games Committee and as a member of the NCAA Ranking Committee. He currently serves as a WBCA Commonwealth Conference Captain and as a selection committee member for the prestigious WBCA Jostens Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mike and his wife of 28 years, Norma, live in Grantham. They have two children: Daughter Taylor (20) will be a sophomore in 2011-2012 at Messiah, while son Michael (22), is a senior at Gordon College.