Yori hires assistant
Lincoln - Nebraska Coach Connie Yori announced on Tuesday, May 15, the addition of Shimmy Gray-Miller to the Husker coaching staff.
Gray-Miller comes to Nebraska after spending the past seven seasons as the head coach at Saint Louis. Gray-Miller replaces Kellie Lewis-Jay on the NU staff, after Lewis-Jay was named the head coach at Florida Atlantic.
"We're really excited that Shimmy has decided to join our Nebraska coaching staff," Yori said. "We're confident her experience as a head coach and her previous work at other BCS programs will benefit us in a big way. She is a high-energy person with great character, and we believe she'll be a great fit for our staff and players."
Gray-Miller's first day on the job at Nebraska is expected to be Wednesday, May 23. She joins a Nebraska team that returns four starters and 10 of its top 12 players that went 24-9 overall and 10-6 in the Big Ten. The Huskers earned their fourth NCAA Tournament berth in the past six years and advanced to the Big Ten Tournament title game in their first season in the conference.
Gray-Miller has experience of her own in making a transition to a new conference, along with experience in helping teams win major conference titles. She also has close ties to the Big Ten.
Gray-Miller was named head coach at Saint Louis in April of 2005 and led the Billikens in their transition to the Atlantic-10 Conference in 2005-06. In her time at Saint Louis, the native of Flint, Mich., led players who earned seven All-A-10 awards, including one A-10 Most Improved Player. One Billiken was also named the A-10 Freshman of the Year under Gray-Miller.
Her program also excelled off the court. The Billikens earned a pair of CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, while adding three A-10 Scholar-Athlete-of-the-Year awards for women's basketball. Her 2006-07 Billiken team finished 17th with a 3.336 combined GPA in the WBCA Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll.
In the community, Gray-Miller and the Billiken women's basketball program were routinely one of the leading groups among nearly 200 SLU organizations in community service and first among varsity sports all seven years of her tenure. As a result of her tireless efforts in the community, Gray was recognized with the Greater Missouri Girl Scouts of America Distinguished Women Leaders Award in 2011.
Prior to her arrival at SLU, Gray-Miller served two seasons (2003-04, 2004-05) as an assistant coach at Arizona. She helped the Wildcats win the first Pac-10 Conference women's basketball title in school history in 2004. Arizona earned NCAA Tournament bids both seasons Gray-Miller was on the bench. Wildcat players Shawntinice Polk and Dee-Dee Wheeler both earned honorable-mention All-America honors and first-team All-Pac-10 awards. Wheeler was chosen with the 26th overall pick in the second round of the 2005 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks.
Before heading to Tucson, Gray-Miller spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Washington from 2000-01 to 2002-03. Gray-Miller joined current Husker Associate Head Coach Sunny Smallwood on the UW staff for all three seasons of those seasons, before Gray-Miller was replaced on the staff by Lewis-Jay in 2003-04 after Gray-Miller left for Arizona.
Gray-Miller and Smallwood helped Washington win the 2001 Pac-10 title and make a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the NCAA Elite Eight. Gray-Miller helped coach seven All-Pac-10 players in her time in Seattle, including 2003 Pac-10 Player-of-the-Year Giuliana Mendiola and 2001 WNBA Draft pick Megan Franza.
Gray-Miller graduated from Michigan in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in sociology and a minor in law and criminology. She played basketball for the Wolverines, serving as team captain and winning the 1994 Bob Ufer Quarterback Club Award for leadership and dedication. She still ranks in the top 20 career list in several categories. In 1998-99, Gray-Miller played professional basketball for Olivais Futebol Clube, a first-division club team in Coimbra, Portugal.
A graduate of Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint, Mich., Gray-Miller was a two-sport Michigan All-State athlete. She was inducted into the Carman-Ainsworth Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005. Gray-Miller served on the Central Institute of the Deaf (St. Louis) Board of Directors and currently serves as a Board Member for Safe Connections Domestic Assault Center (St. Louis).
She is a highly sought after guest speaker and presenter for various organizations including the NCAA Achieving Coaching Excellence workshop, Athens (Greece) Institute of Sport, and the WBCA annual convention.
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