Miller resigns as Head Coach at NAIA Goshen; Heads to Bradley as an Assistant

After 13 seasons with the Maple Leafs, Goshen College head women’s basketball coach Stephanie Miller will leave her role to serve as the top Assistant Coach for the Bradley Braves women’s basketball team in Peoria, Illinois. The Braves compete in the Missouri Valley Conference at the Division I level.

“This is an incredibly bittersweet moment for me,” Miller said. “I am both thrilled for the exciting opportunities and adventures that come from a new chapter but so deeply saddened to say goodbye to the amazing people and relationships built here at Goshen. I am so proud of the program I, my players, and my many amazing assistant coaches have built over the last 13 seasons. It is hard to walk away, but I am so confident and proud to leave this program in the hands of an amazing group of strong women who will lead the way for the next generation of players to come behind them.”

Miller was the longest-tenured full-time staff member in the athletic department at the time of her departure. She became the head coach at Goshen College in 2011 after spending 11 seasons as the head coach at Hill McCloy High School in Montrose, Michigan. During the 2014-15 season, she guided the Maple Leafs to their first winning season in ten years. Miller was named Crossroads League co-coach of the year in 2015-16 after the Maple Leafs set a school record with 27 wins, advancing to the Fab Four of the NAIA Division II National Tournament for the first time in program history. The team was picked to finish seventh in the league in the preseason coaches poll and finished the season ranked fourth in the nation. Goshen won a program-record 15 Crossroads League games, taking second place, and hosted a CL tournament matchup for the first time since 2004. Miller is the only person to coach the Maple Leafs in an NAIA national semifinal in any sport. This past season, Goshen rattled off eight wins in a row, a feat that had last been accomplished during the 1998-99 season.

“Coach Miller has been a crucial part of our athletic staff for the last 13 seasons,” said Director of Athletics Dr. Erica Albertin. “We are grateful to Coach Miller for all her coaching and administrative work.” Miller is one of just seven head coaches in the history of Goshen College athletics that has coached one sport for 13 consecutive seasons, joining Dwain Hartzler (men’s soccer), John Ingold (men’s golf), Stan King (men’s tennis), Rick Clark (men’s track & field), Ruth Gunden (women’s basketball) and Thavisak Mounsithiraj (men’s soccer).

Miller leaves Goshen as the second-winningest coach in team history, only two wins away from tying Ruth Gunden, the namesake of Goshen’s gymnasium. She also served at Goshen as the senior women’s administrator, associate athletic director, academic/athletic liaison, retention committee athletic representative, game management coordinator and assistant sports information director. Through all her roles, Miller leaves with an overwhelming gratitude for Goshen College and the many leaders who trusted her to lead the program.

“I am grateful for the many good people I have been blessed to work and serve with over my years,” she shared, “the many coaches I have been fortunate enough to work with on my staff and beside me in the office, the wonderfully supportive people of Goshen, the families that entrusted their daughters to me, and most of all, for the amazing young women who allowed me to live out this dream. Goshen College has been a wonderful home for me, and I plan to take all of the incredible growth and lessons learned from this grand adventure with me as I head into a new and exciting season of my life.”

Off the court, Miller is regarded for her continuous support of all the alumni who have gone through the women’s basketball program, which is highlighted each year by the women’s basketball alumni game during Homecoming Weekend. “Coach Miller has created a great alumni base of passionate women’s basketball players and fans,” said Albertin. “Her teams have been in the community at many events, have won some great basketball games, and she has created teams of character. We wish Coach Miller all the best as she takes the next step in her career!”

The Braves won the Missouri Valley tournament in 2021, earning a spot in the NCAA tournament for the first time in the team’s history. Kate Popovec-Goss is Bradley’s head coach, assuming the duties in 2022. She was previously the Associate Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Northwestern and a student-athlete at Pittsburgh and Northwestern.

Miller’s final day will be June 30th, and she will work to support a smooth transition for the players and coaching staff. A national search for the eighth head coach in the women’s basketball program’s 59-year history has begun.

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