March 28, 2012
Curt Miller Introductory Press Conference Transcript
Director of Athletics Fred Glass
"I am thrilled to announce that we have successfully recruited Curt Miller to be our head women's basketball coach here at Indiana University.
"When we started this process, we set out some characteristics that we wanted our next head women's basketball coach to have. And we laid those out before we started measuring it against specific candidates. Those characteristics included: absolute integrity, strong presence to advance a strong brand of IU women's basketball, knowing how to win, connecting with student-athletes, demonstrated ability to recruit, immediately connect with our state, develops talent, brings engaging style of play and has the vision to win at Indiana University.
"Curt Miller gets an A-plus on that test. He was born in Western Pennsylvania and a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio and has been the head basketball coach at Bowling Green State University since 2001. BGSU has won the regular season and/or MAC Tournament Championship every year for the last eight years.
"Curt has been to eight consecutive postseason tournaments, five with the NCAA and three with the WNIT, including a Sweet 16 run in 2007. He has been named the MAC Coach of the Year six times in his 11-year career at Bowling Green. His overall winning percentage at Bowling Green is 73 percent and 76 percent in conference play. He is the seventh winningest in the nation over the last five years. For three consecutive years, his teams have been in the top 15 of the WBCA Academic Top 25 based on GPA. Every player who spent at least four years at Bowling Green under Curt Miller has won at least one MAC title, played on a NCAA Tournament team and earned her degree. He is active nationally, serving on the WBCA Board of Directors and the NCAA Rules Committee.
"We recruited hard in the process. In addition to the characteristics I previously mentioned, we sent out a (memo) on why we think this is a great job at Indiana University, including the facilities, synergy with men's basketball, recruiting opportunities, being in the Big Ten Conference, exposure from the Big Ten Network, opportunities to advance, academic support, stable leadership in the President and Athletic Director's office, the world-class institution that Indiana University is as well as our creed of `24 Sports, 1 Team'.
"I would like to thank our staff who were very active in this search, particularly our SWA Julie Cromer and Senior Associate Athletic Director Kevin Clark, who is also the sport administrator for women's basketball.
"It was a comprehensive and thorough search. We had multiple interviews and we narrowed it down to two candidates on Sunday. We invited them to campus and they were here all day on Monday, meeting with other head coaches, academic faculty members and the president of the university. All those people took the time to demonstrate how important this hire is and helped communicate to our candidates how important women's basketball his here at Indiana University.
"Last night we agreed to terms with Curt. He was the first choice and the only offer that we made. So ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to introduce to you, the head women's basketball coach at Indiana University, Curt Miller."
Head Coach Curt Miller:
"Thank you, what an amazing turn out, I think it speaks volumes of what basketball means in the state and certainly Indiana University. I am humbled, excited and certainly proud now to be a part of that Indiana family.
"It will be impossible for me to thank everybody that has helped today become a reality for me and this next step and chapter in my life, but I would like to take few seconds and thank people. President (Michael A.) McRobbie, who took time out of his busy schedule to meet with me yesterday. I really appreciate it. I think that shows the commitment to women`s basketball at IU and I don`t take that for granted to have that opportunity. Also I want to thank Fred Glass and the senior staff with all they have done over the last few days for myself and my family. I can't thank them enough. For the coaches that I got to meet already, I look to meeting everyone. I am a strong believer in the Spirit of Indiana and in the motto `24 Sports, 1 Team'. I think it is fantastic and there`s meat to that Spirit of Indiana and I feel it every time I talk to an Indiana administrator or coach. I can`t wait to be a part of that model.
"I would like to thank my parents. As mentioned, I`m a western Pennsylvania native and they are back in Pennsylvania as I speak. I am the youngest of three and my brother and sister couldn`t make it on short notice but they are my biggest fans and have been with me all the time. I got involved in women`s basketball because my sister, who is nine years older than me, was a fantastic athlete and I was one of those kids in second, third grade that when she would come home, I would have all her stats. So I learned to love the women`s game at an early age. I do have an extended family with me today that I'd like to thank. It is not easy to be the extended family of a coach, the time commitment of a coach and the time that you are on the road recruiting or playing - it takes special, special people to be part of a coach`s family and Jamie Broadwell is with me, and our boys, Brian and Shawn Seymour.
"I would be remised if I didn't thank Bowling Green State University. Eleven years ago they took a chance on a young, green coach and gave me an opportunity with my first head coaching job. It was a community that was unbelievably supportive of women's basketball, of my family. It helped raise my kids - it was certainly a village at Bowling Green. We had an unbelievable run so I can't thank the school and community enough. Most importantly, a big shoutout to my coaching staff that was with me my entire tenure at Bowling Green, and the wonderful players that chose to play at Bowling Green during our time there. Again, it was a little bittersweet this morning saying goodbye to a lot of friends and people that made that stop in my life a very special one.
"But with that said, I can't be more excited about this next chapter. I dreamed about this opportunity growing up in western Pennsylvania. For two decades, people have asked me how I got into coaching and when they look at me they ask, `were you an athlete?' I actually was.
"For more than two decades now, I explained my hometown to people as a `Hoosier-type' hometown. I wasn't even sure why I said that other than the fact that I grew up in a Western, Pa. town that was crazy for basketball. In the 70s and early 80s, we had developed third and fourth grade leagues with outstanding coaches. Fifth and sixth grade, before it was popular to play at that age, we had not only great coaches but developed leagues in our hometown and developed a lot state championships during that run. Because of that, my interest in basketball was at an early age. It was a town, when you left on boy's basketball nights that someone would put a sign on the road leading out of Girard, Pa., that would say `last one out turn the lights out.' With that said, it always felt normal to say I grew up in a Hoosier-type town. I just believe that you always have the perception that every driveway, garage or barn has a basketball hoop. And I've always had great respect for the state. This state if filled with fantastic coaches, AAU and high school, and I look forward to connecting with the coaches and understanding that they are a big piece of building this program.
"I am humbled again to be the head coach at Indiana University. I enjoyed my brief visit with the players just now and I can't wait to be here on a permanent basis and get to work to build the process one step at a time and we look forward to the future."
On the timeline to turn things around at Indiana:
"I don't have a definition of years on that rebuilding process. What I do believe in is doing it the right way and not cutting any corners or taking shortcuts. We believe in a simple philosophy that championships are built in the locker room before they are built on the court. And we are going to work on getting great character kids that compete and are successful in the classroom, will have great chemistry and will represent this university 24/7. I'm not going to put time parameters on this team because I think that would be unfair to the upperclassmen. We are going to try to get better and work hard and ultimately we want to over-achieve no matter what status the building process is in. We did it the right way at BG, we had a five-year plan and we won over 20 games in year three and a championship in year four. And I said it was a five-year plan so I had to change that and accelerate it. I look forward to the challenge here."
On what contributed to his success at Bowling Green:
"I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. A university that was hungry to win in women's basketball and a community that supported women's basketball. A school that was rich in tradition, not only academically, but athletically. I found early recruiting success by recruiting kids that wanted to be part of a building process. It was that second recruiting class and one of those players was an Indiana native and a familiar name in these parts - Liz Honegger (her sister Rachael lettered at IU from 1998-2001) from Lafayette Jefferson helped us rebuild that program in a hurry. I was in the right place at the right time and it's been a wonderful journey back."
On the importance of recruiting success in the state of Indiana:
"The lifeline of a program is recruiting and it has to start by protecting the home state and recruiting your home state. I am proud of the fact that we had multiple Indiana kids on our roster (at Bowling Green) throughout my tenure. We had two state champions from Carmel in the starting lineup at Bowling Green, so I know how important it is to recruit this state.
"To take that further, this state is filled with unbelievable coaches, not only at the high school level but at the AAU level. I think it is really, really important. There are so many alumni and so many people passionate about IU that I can't wait to help convince people to become a Hoosier."
On the impact the success of the men's basketball program and it's effect on the women's program:
"It's one of the big draws here don't you think. We are all huge fans of what men's basketball is doing here. I told Coach Crean that I would be a sponge and if he would let me be around, I would be around as much as possible and be bugging him. Their success brings success for all 23 other sports here and is a shining light to what can happen, because it didn't happen overnight. He had a similar building process to go through. It is an honor to coach in the same building. It's an honor to be able to practice in the same building and practice facility and we hope to be just as successful somewhere down the line."
On the impact of Cook Hall and the facilities on the program:
"I haven't been here since this facility was built, but what an unbelievable facility this is. You can't help but to get excited when you walk in here and see what is available to the student-athletes. And then the mind always thinks "recruiting" as a coach and what a 15- and 16-year old young women would thing about walking into this and how special of a place it is. It can compare to anywhere in the country, we don't take a back seat to anyone with this facility. It's a huge draw and huge piece to the puzzle as we put together future programs and teams."
On what he plans to instill into the current members of the team:
"I think everything starts with discipline, and it will be a staple of our program. A "can-do" attitude that we have to think we can do things because if we don't think we can do them, then we won't. And certainly, camaraderie - my motto has been "Together We Attack". That is trying to energize my coaches, the administration, the community, the students of IU - everybody to take on their own role. It's everybody attacking their own role to help bring women's basketball to the forefront. But discipline will be the staple of our program."
On whether he felt he had done all he could do at Bowling Green and it was time to move on:
"It's a great question. It was hard to leave Bowling Green, but this opportunity is a great fit in my belief in taking this step up. I sat down after early success at Bowling Green and my AD had the foresight to the belief that I deserved to have a "dream clause" in my contract. Indiana was on that dream clause."
On the plan in terms of assistant coaches:
"I am taking that one day at a time. I had a fantastic coaching staff at Bowling Green. I have to build the coaching staff that I feel is the best for IU. Those decisions will be made aa quickly as possible but I will do my due diligence to put the best staff together as I can."