James Miller has been promoted to associate head coach on Mississippi State men’s basketball coaching staff announced Thursday by head coach Chris Jans.
Miller possesses nearly two decades of coaching experience and has worked his way into being heralded as one of the nation’s top up-and-coming coaches. He’ll enter his second season at Mississippi State and his sixth season overall on Jans’ staff in 2023-24.
“James Miller has been our associate head coach with or without the ‘title’,” Jans said. “Coach Miller is a one-of-a-kind coach. He’s a rarity in that he has no holes in his skill set, he can do it all. He’s going to make an Athletic Director and University happy very soon. Until then, he will continue to make our program better daily. We’re fortunate that James and his family are Bulldogs.”
Miller has amassed 115 victories which averages to 23.0 wins per season and compiled a .747 winning percentage over his previous five seasons working with Jans.
Miller owns 18 years of coaching experience and has notched six postseason trips during his eight seasons at the NCAA Division I level which also includes previous stops at Arkansas State, New Mexico State, North Texas and Omaha.
“I’m extremely honored and excited to step into this role at Mississippi State,” Miller said. “I’m very thankful to Coach Jans and our administration for their faith and for their trust in me. Darlene and I absolutely love Starkville and the community. It’s a privilege to work with our student-athletes and our staff daily. We look forward to continuing to build on the success our program had last season.”
Mississippi State piled up 21 victories and returned to the NCAA Tournament during the 2022-23 campaign.
The Bulldogs rose to as high as No. 15 in the national rankings after an 11-0 which tied the program’s second-best start to a season. State was one of the nation’s last four undefeated teams on a list that included national champion Connecticut, top 5 mainstay Purdue and New Mexico.
Top 25 victories over TCU and Texas A&M coupled with wins over Marquette, the BIG EAST regular season and tournament champion and a NCAA NET Quad 1 road win at Arkansas provided the blueprint for State’s NCAA Tournament berth.
Defensively, Mississippi State was elite limiting their first 10 opponents of the 2022-23 season to 60 points or less, a feat accomplished by only the 2011-12 Virginia squad during the 2000s. The Bulldogs were among the nation’s top 25 in scoring defense (61.0 – 9th), opponent field goal percentage (39.4 – 10th) and steals per game (8.6 – 23rd).
Miller linked up with Jans for four seasons at New Mexico State. He also was elevated from assistant coach to associate head coach following his first season in 2018-19.
During his time in Las Cruces, Miller aided the Aggies to a 94-26 record and a .783 winning clip. New Mexico State secured a program single-season 30 victories in 2018-19 and continued to validate its reputation as one of the nation’s premier mid-major programs.
The Aggies piled up three WAC regular season titles, two WAC Tournament titles and two NCAA Tournament trips with Miller on-staff. After nearly upsetting eventual 2019 NCAA Final Four participant Auburn, NM State toppled Connecticut in a 12-5 upset at the 2022 Big Dance.