PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Gulf Coast announced on Thursday that Kathy McConnell-Miller will be taking over as their new head women’s basketball coach.
Coach McConnell-Miller has made coaching stops at Pittsburg, WNBA, Colorado, Tulsa, Illinois, and Rutgers University.
McConnell-Miller most recently coached at the University of Pittsburgh as an assistant coach under her sister Suzie McConnell-Serio from 2013-2018.
The entire McConnell family has basketball in their roots. Her sister was an Olympian and member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Her nephew, TJ McConnell currently plays for the Indiana Pacers.
“It’s an interesting Thanksgiving table and Christmas table that’s for sure. I’m one of eight children and six of the eight of us played college basketball and we all have done it at different levels,” McConnell-Miller said.
“We grew up in a small three bedroom home in Pittsburgh, where my dad basically nailed a hoop to the chimney, and that’s where we learned to play. We were in the back yard playing till the neighbors told us to put the balls away. So it is been a pretty fortunate situation for me to have siblings and a family that has the same passion.”
Miller also has been a head coach for 11 seasons at the University of Colorado and Tulsa. She was the assistant coach of the Tulsa Shock, WNBA team, from 2011 to 2013 before heading to Pittsburgh.
“I feel like I grew so much working in the WNBA working with players like Laurie Johnson, Skylar Diggins and Liz Cambage. It was an amazing time for me and I got better as a player development coach just having access to those types of players that wanted to be really good,” McConnell-Miller said.
McConnell-Miller has made it to the WNIT Final Four, the NCAA Elite Eight twice, the NCAA Sweet Sixteen four times, and was even named Coach of the Year once.
She is one of just 22 people to be ranked in the Top 25 as a player and a head coach.
McConnell-Miller has never coached at the junior college level, but is very excited to. She also is very happy to take over one of the best programs in the country, with six national titles and nine state championships to it’s name.
“The game of basketball, I love teaching it at any level. I was most impressed, with first and foremost, the people and just how committed they are to women’s basketball, the tradition is so rich and Coach Scovel, what else can you say, the success that she’s had there and what she’s done, I’ve got so much respect for that,” McConnell-Miller said.
McConnell-Miller said she’s gonna get started right away with recruiting, but she also wants to take the time to get to know the players who are there currently.
“I think assembling a pretty strong team is important, building the chemistry, starting with individual workouts and into the practices. Share my academic goals, let them know it’s important what they do in the classroom and what their future is like,” McConnel-Miller said.