Miller Accepts Assistant Coaching Position at SMS
June 9, 2004
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After nine successful seasons with the University of Kansas men’s basketball staff, Ben Miller has accepted a position as assistant coach at Southwest Missouri State, SMS head coach Barry Hinson and the Bears athletic department announced Wednesday.
Miller, the Director of Basketball Operations during the 2003-04 season under Bill Self, previously served as assistant coach (2000-03) and administrative assistant (1995-99) since his arrival to the KU program almost a decade ago.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to work with coach Hinson, for whom I have a great deal of respect,” said Miller. “I’ve known him for a number of years through Coach Self, Coach Holladay and Coach Williams. Coach Hinson is one of the best in the business and he’s just a great person on top of that. He and his staff have done a great job recruiting at SMS and they’ve got a talented group of players coming back next year. They have tremendous tradition at SMS and a great deal of community support in Springfield.”
“Ben and his family have been an integral part of Kansas basketball over the last several years,” Self said. “He loves the University of Kansas and has done a tremendous job with the program over time and this past year has been a huge asset to myself personally. I believe that Ben has all the components to become an excellent coach and eventual head coach.”
“Ben now has an opportunity to go to a place where he can not only be on the floor but on the recruiting front as well,” Self added. “He and Barry Hinson will be a great team. We wish Ben all the best and understand that this is a great move for his career.”
Miller will stay in Lawrence through the conclusion of Self’s Basketball Camps (June 13-17, 20-24). A member of Self’s current staff will be promoted to Director of Operations at a later date.
“Making the choice to leave was a difficult decision because I do love the University of Kansas,” Miller added. “I’ve known and worked with some great people here in Coach Williams, Coach Self and others. The hardest part is leaving the players. I know I’ll be rooting for KU every time they play next season unless they happen to wind up against SMS somewhere along the way. In another way, though, it wasn’t a hard decision because of the opportunity SMS is giving me to come in and work with the Bears’ program. I’m looking forward to getting started.”
SMS finished 19-14 in the 2003-04 season and upset Creighton and Southern Illinois in the first two rounds of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. In the tournament finals, SMS dropped a double overtime decision to second-seeded Northern Iowa in the bid for the league’s automatic spot into the NCAA tournament.