July 24, 2014
University of Louisville softball head coach Sandy Pearsall has announced the hiring of Jay Miller as an assistant coach. Miller, who spent the past two seasons as a volunteer assistant on UofL's coaching staff, will work primarily with the pitchers and catchers and assist with practice and game day preparation.
"Hiring Jay Miller as our pitching coach was an easy decision," said Pearsall. "He has had tremendous success throughout his career and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our staff. He helped us in a volunteer role for the past two years and knows our team well, which will help with the transition process."
Miller brings an impressive résumé to the Louisville coaching staff with over 1,000 career wins in 26 seasons as a Division I head coach, with two Women's College World Series teams to his credit. He also served as the USA Softball National Team head coach during the 2009 and 2010 seasons and guided Team USA to six gold medals. In 2009, Miller earned a distinguished place in the coaching profession when he was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame as part of the association's 18th class.
"Over the past two years helping out as a volunteer assistant I have been very impressed with the commitment and dedication the University of Louisville and the athletic department has to developing a championship program," said Miller. "I would like to thank Coach Pearsall for this opportunity and I look forward to working with our staff and student-athletes as we join the ACC this season."
While in the Louisville dugout, Miller was part of a coaching staff that helped guide the Cardinals to 83 wins and two NCAA regional appearances. Most recently, UofL posted a 36-22 overall record and made its 11th straight NCAA postseason appearance on the heels of capturing the 2014 American Athletic Conference crown.
In his first season at UofL, the Cardinals registered a 47-13 overall mark. UofL reached as high as No. 7 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and No. 8 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and spent four weeks among the nation's top 10. Louisville also posted its first win over a top-ranked team when it defeated No. 1 Oklahoma 5-1 in Norman and remained one of only four teams to beat the eventual national champion.
He replaces former assistant coach Courtney Scott who was recently named the head coach at the University of Maryland.
Nine seasons at Mississippi State
Prior to coming to Louisville, Miller spent nine seasons (2003-11) as the head coach at Mississippi State, where he led the Bulldogs to six NCAA appearances and 295 wins, an average of 32 victories per season. While at Mississippi State, Miller posted his 1000th career victory, becoming the 13th Division I head coach to achieve the feat. He finished his head coaching career with a 1004-668 overall record.
Fifteen seasons at Missouri
Before his stint at Mississippi State, Miller spent 15 seasons as the head coach at Missouri (1987-2002). He led the Tigers to a pair of Women's College World Series appearances (1991 and 1994), five NCAA Regional appearances and compiled a 556-309 overall record. Under his tutelage, Missouri won two overall regular season conference championships and three tournament titles. Miller earned Big Eight Coach of the Year honors twice (1991 and 1992), and when Missouri changed conferences, added a Big 12 Coach of the Year title as well in 1997.
At the helm of USA Softball
His success on the collegiate stage helped build an international résumé that culminated with being selected the USA National Team head coach from 2009-10, earning USOC National Coach of the Year honors in each of those years. Miller guided the 2009 USA to gold medals at the Canada Cup, the World Cup of Softball and the Japan Cup. In 2010, he led Team USA to the ISF World Championship, a second World Cup gold medal and the Japan Cup championship.
His journey to the position started in 1992 when he served on the National Team selection committee that would, ultimately, be in charge of choosing the inaugural USA Softball team to compete in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Miller served in various capacities within the organization including head coaching stints of the USA Red squad that captured gold at the 2001 U.S. Cup, and the USA Elite team that took home the 2003 Canada Cup championship after claiming runner-up honors the previous year. He also was an assistant coach for the USA National Team in gold medal runs at both the Pacific Rim Sports Summit and the Intercontinental Cup in 2004. He served on the coaching staff of the USA Elite squad in its run to a silver medal at the 2005 Canada Cup, and the 2006 World University squad that won the gold medal in Taiwan. The 2007 slate saw him help guide the USA Junior National Team to the gold medal at the Junior World Championships.
In the beginning
In 1984, he began his head coaching career at the now-NAIA powerhouse Oklahoma City University. Miller oversaw the Chiefs in their final season at the Division I level before starting Oklahoma City's dominance in the NAIA. He helped guide the team to a pair of top-five finishes (second in 1986, fourth in 1987) in his final two seasons, both of which produced District IX Coach of the Year accolades. His team's 1987 achievements earned him Southwest Region Coach of the Year honors.
As a player
As a native of Aurora, Illinois, Miller grew up watching the Aurora Seal Masters - winners of the first of two-ever world titles in men's fastpitch softball. With the team training nearby, he studied and employed the techniques of their star pitcher who threw off a circle rather than off of a mound.
He went on to play in major level men's fastpitch leagues in high school and throughout college. Miller's experience as a player paved the way for his first coaching position which came when he was completing his master's work at Purdue. He found himself taking on pitching coach (and later head coach) duties for the Purdue women's club team in the late 70's.
Off the field
In addition to his coaching accolades, Miller is a leading authority on softball technology, having written more than 30 articles for professional publication. He most recently authored a chapter entitled "Offensive Strategy" for The Softball Coaching Bible, published by Human Kinetics Press in 2002. Miller has also developed five softball skills videotapes that are marketed internationally. He is also considered one of the top softball clinicians in the world, having conducted more than 100 camps and clinics in the United States, Netherlands Antilles, Italy, Czech Republic, Holland, France and Malaysia.
He began his educational career at the University of Grenoble in Grenoble, France, completing his international studies program there before obtaining his bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Illinois State in 1978. He completed his master's degree in education with an emphasis in counseling and personnel services at Purdue University in 1979.
Miller and wife Lacy Lee Baker, Executive Director of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, have one daughter, Nicole.
Miller's Coaching Career Breakdown
- USA Softball National Team Head Coach (2009-10)
- Head Coach for USA National Team at Canada Cup - gold medal (2009)
- Head Coach for USA National Team at World Cup of Softball - gold medal (2009)
- Head Coach for USA National Team at Japan Cup - gold medal (2009)
- Head Coach for USA National Team at ISF World Championship - gold medal (2010)
- Head Coach for USA National Team at World Cup of Softball - gold medal (2010)
- Head Coach of USA National Team at Japan Cup - gold medal (2010)
- Head Coach for USA Softball Junior National Team at Pan American Qualifier (2006-2007)
- Head Coach for USA Junior World Championships - gold medal (2007)
- Assistant Coach for USA Softball National Team at International Sports Invitational (June, 2005)
- Head Coach for USA Softball National Team at World University Games (2004)
- Head Coach for USA Softball Elite Team at Canada Cup (2002-04)
- Assistant Coach for USA Red National Team at Softball Shootout and Canada Cup (2001)
- Head Coach for USA Red National Team at US Cup (2001)
- Head Coach for USA Blue National Team at Canada Cup and American Challenge Series (1999)
- Assistant Coach for USA Softball National Team at Pan American and World Championship qualifying tournament (1997)
- Team Leader For USA Softball National Team at Pan American Qualifying Tournament (1994)
- USA Softball National Team Selection Committee (1992-96)
- Pitching Coach for Netherlands Antilles at Pan Am Games (1987) and World Championships (1990)
Collegiate Coaching Career
Mississippi State, Head Coach (2003-11) 295-253 overall record
- NCAA Regionals: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009
University of Missouri Head Coach (1988-2002) 556-309 overall record
- Women's College World Series: 1991, 1994
- NCAA Regionals: 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999
- 1997 Big 12 Coach of the Year
- 1997 Big 12 Tournament Champions
- 1997 Big 12 Champions
- 1994, 1997 Midwest Region Coach of the Year
- 1991 Big Eight Champions
- 1990, 1991 Big Eight Coach of the Year
Assistant Coach, University of Missouri (1982-84)
Head Coach, Purdue University (1980-81) 29-21 overall record
Head Coach, Oklahoma City University(1984-1987) 124-85 overall record
- 1986 NAIA National Runner-Up
- 1987 NAIA National Championships (4th)
- 1987 Southwest Region Coach of the Year
- 1986, 1987 District IX Coach of the Year