Creighton Men’s Basketball Staff Update

Ryan Miller and Jalen Courtney-Williams have been named assistant coaches with the Creighton men’s basketball program, head coach Greg McDermott announced today.

Miller and Courtney-Williams fill the vacancies that recently opened on The Hilltop when Terrence Rencher and Paul Lusk took jobs at Oklahoma State and Purdue, respectively.

Creighton finished 22-9 overall and led the BIG EAST with 14 league victories last season, advancing to the program’s first Sweet 16 since 1974.

Jalen Courtney-Williams
Jalen Courtney-Williams joins the Creighton staff after spending the past three seasons at McNeese as an assistant coach under Heath Schroyer. He had recently been promoted to associate head coach under new hire John Aiken.

“Jalen is a rising star in the coaching profession,” said McDermott. “His passion and energy is infectious. He has proven during his time at Mississippi State and McNeese State to be an effective recruiter and is very gifted in helping young people develop both on and off the playing floor. His dynamic personality and tireless work ethic will be a great addition to our staff.”

While with the Cowboys, he coached some of the top big men in the Southland Conference and was recognized as a high-level recruiter. Among his top performers was All-Southland performer Sha’Markus Kennedy, a 6-foot-8 forward who was also tabbed the 2020 Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Prior to his time in Lake Charles, Courtney-Williams spent three years on Ben Howland’s staff at Mississippi State, where he served as a graduate assistant and also as the team’s video coordinator.
The Mississippi native played three seasons at LSU and spent two years at Morehead State, appearing in a total of 66 collegiate games. He earned his undergraduate degree from Morehead State in communications in 2015.
Courtney-Williams signed with LSU following a stellar prep career at Provine High School in Jackson, Mississippi.  As a senior, he averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds en route to garnering all-state and all-metro accolades while also being tabbed the Mississippi High School Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year. 

A McDonald’s All-American nominee, he led the Rams to two 5A state titles and two runner-up finishes in his prep career.

Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller served the previous five seasons as an assistant coach (2016-18) and assistant head coach (2018-21) at TCU. The Horned Frogs reached the postseason three times with Miller on staff, including a 2018 NCAA Tournament trip that was the program’s first bid to the Big Dance in 20 seasons. The Frogs’ nine Big 12 wins that season remain a program record.

“I had the opportunity to coach against Ryan when he was playing at Northern State,” said McDermott. “I have always admired his toughness and love for the game. He is very skilled from a tactical and development standpoint and has an innovative approach to both offense and defense that is very impressive. On top of that, he is widely recognized as one of the best recruiters in college basketball. We are excited to add him to our coaching staff.”

In Miller’s first campaign at TCU, the Horned Frogs improved from 12 wins to 24 victories and claimed the NIT title. TCU’s 24 victories were tied for the second-most in program history.

Miller is regarded as tone of the top recruiters in the country and helped to lure future NBA First Round pick Desmond Bane to TCU. Before his time in Fort Worth, Miller was part of a UNLV staff that landed the nation’s No. 11 and No. 5 ranked recruiting classes in 2015 and 2014, respectively.

During his time at UNLV, Miller helped develop and coach Rashad Vaughn who was drafted No. 17 overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2015 NBA Draft. Vaughn was a 2014 McDonald’s All-America honoree and a consensus five-star recruit, who was ranked as high as No. 8 nationally coming out of Findlay College Prep. He went on to become the Mountain West Freshman of the Year at UNLV after averaging 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

In 2015, Miller, who was named the fourth-best recruiter outside the Power 5 while at UNLV by ESPN’s Jeff Borzello and Adam Finkelstein, had a hand in the Rebels garnering commitments from two ESPN Top-100 signees in five star Stephen Zimmerman, who was rated the nation’s No. 12 ranked player by ESPN, and Derrick Jones, a four-star recruit who was ranked in the top-50 nationally. Another notable student-athlete during Miller’s stay in Las Vegas was Christian Wood who currently plays for the Houston Rockets.

Prior to UNLV Miller had also been an assistant coach at Auburn, New Mexico, Pepperdine and Memphis. Miller has coached in four NCAA Tournaments, won five regular-season titles and one conference tournament title on the sidelines.

Prior to his time at UNLV, the South Dakota native spent two years as an associate head coach at Auburn between 2012-14. Prior to that, Miller recorded five seasons as an assistant coach at New Mexico under Steve Alford. During his tenure, the Lobos went 126-46 overall and made five consecutive postseason appearances, including a pair of NCAA Tournament berths. New Mexico also won two regular-season Mountain West Conference Championships and one league tournament crown. Miller spent the 2006-07 season as an assistant coach at Pepperdine before joining the New Mexico staff.

He began his college coaching career as the Director of Basketball Operations at Memphis under John Calipari between 2004-06. During his three years with the Tigers, Memphis compiled a 78-28 record and made three postseason tournament appearances, including two NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2006, Miller aided in guiding the Tigers to the Sweet 16.

A native of Mitchell, S.D., Miller attended Northern State, where he was a two-time Northern Sun All-Conference selection. He finished his career eighth on Northern State’s all-time scoring list after leading his teams to four straight conference championships and the 1998 regional title. He was named a Division II All-American and an Academic All-NSIC member as a senior in 1997-98. Miller earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Northern State in 2000.

Miller was drafted by the CBA in 1999 and played professionally for the Fargo-Moorhead Beez of the International Basketball Association. He also saw action for the Dakota Gold of the IBA where he served as player/assistant coach during the 2000-01 campaign.

Miller attended Mitchell High School where he was a two-time all-state selection and led the school to the 1994 state championship. His brother, Mike, played 17 years in the NBA and was named NBA Rookie of the Year in 2001 and the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2006. He also won back-to-back NBA Championships with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Miller and his wife, Marna, have two daughters, Melia and Halle. He will start his duties at Creighton on May 1, 2021.

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