The first piece of Chris Jans‘ Mississippi State coaching staff has been revealed announced.
With nearly two decades of coaching experience, James Miller has worked his way into being heralded as one of the nation’s top up-and-coming assistant coaches.
Miller spent the last four seasons at New Mexico State working under Jans after being elevated from assistant coach to associate head coach leading into the 2019-20 season.
“James Miller is an elite basketball coach,” Jans said. “Our student-athletes and our program will benefit daily from his talent and his expertise. Coach Miller has earned an outstanding reputation in our profession because of his work ethic, high character and results. He impacts young men in a positive way off the court. As one of the bright young minds in college basketball, I don’t expect James to be a Bulldog for long as he will make an Athletic Director very happy in the near future.”
“I’m thrilled to continue my coaching journey on Coach Jans’ staff at Mississippi State,” Miller said. “He has been a great role model and an amazing mentor to me during my career. I value the relationship that I have with Coach and his wife, Sheri. I’m looking forward to great things ahead for the program. My family and I are excited to be joining the Mississippi State family.”
During his time in Las Cruces, Miller aided the Aggies to a 94-26 record and a .783 winning percentage. 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.
New Mexico State was poised for another postseason run following a 19-game winning streak in route a 25-6 record and an undefeated WAC regular season during the 2019-20 season before being cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Aggies amassed a dominant 52-11 mark and an .825 winning clip during conference games as the WAC’s showcase program from the 2018-19 to 2021-22 seasons. The .825 conference winning percentage is sixth-nationally during that four-year span.
New Mexico State players accounted for 18 All-WAC honors headlined by 10 selections to either the All-WAC First Team or All-WAC Second Team over the four-year run. Four Aggies went onto to capture NABC All-District accolades headlined by Teddy Allen’s first-team nod after he earned the 2021-22 WAC Player of the Year.
Prior to New Mexico State, Miller served as an assistant coach at Omaha (2015-16) under Derrin Hanson followed by a pair one-year stints at Arkansas State (2016-17) and North Texas (2017-18) both for Grant McCasland.
The Mean Green won the 2018 College Basketball Invitational (CBI) title in addition to posting the program’s first 20-win campaign since 2011-12 and the nation’s fifth-highest win improvement.
Arkansas State notched the country’s second-best turnaround with a 10-win increase in 2016-17, while Omaha’s 18 victories resulted in a CBI berth and stand tied for second in the program’s 10-year Division I history.
Miller gained three years of head coaching experience at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs where the Thunderbirds came away with a 77-23 record and three consecutive postseason appearances from the 2012-13 to 2013-15 seasons. He was an assistant coach from 2009-10 to 2011-12.
Miller’s New Mexico Junior College tenure resulted in 21 players moving onto the Division I level headlined by Power 5 programs in Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and North Carolina State.
The 2014-15 season saw Miller’s squad notch a 23-9 record and a semifinals berth at the NJCAA Region V Tournament. His first season in 2012-13 was highlighted by a Region V championship and the program’s first national tournament berth of the century.
Miller cut his teeth in the coaching profession at Colorado State Pueblo as an assistant coach from 2005-06 to 2008-09 before he served as an intern with Arizona State out of college. He also was a student manager at Colorado State where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 2005 and received his master’s degree from Northern Colorado in 2007.
Miller and his wife Darlene have two daughters: Mia and Maci.
The James Miller File
Seasons • School • Years at School • POSITION
2019-22 • New Mexico State • 3 Seasons • Associate Head Coach
2018-19 • New Mexico State • 1 Season • Assistant Coach
2017-18 • North Texas • 1 Season • Assistant Coach
2016-17 • Arkansas State • 1 Season • Assistant Coach
2015-16 • Omaha • 1 Season • Assistant Coach
2012-15 • New Mexico Junior College • 3 Seasons • Head Coach
2009-12 • New Mexico Junior College • 3 Seasons • Assistant Coach
2005-09 • Colorado State Pueblo • 4 Seasons • Assistant Coach