By: Maggie Fipps
120 days ago, Drury University’s assistant women’s basketball coach Addy Miller studied her team’s play against the Cedarville Lady Jackets, as the schools met for the first time in the school’s history.
Today, she met Cedarville’s athletic staff as the new head women’s basketball coach.
“Yeah, I realized you guys like to shoot it,” said Miller about her first meeting with Cedarville. “I like to shoot it. Back to my philosophy and my goals, I want to play fast. I want to get up and defend hard and focus on the defensive end and make the offensive end easier. So all of those games and all of those experiences that I’ve had have prepared me for that.”
Miller’s experience moved her all over the United States. Her leadership experience started as a point guard at Wayne State College in Nebraska, then moved to Drury University in Missouri to finish her playing career. While at Drury, she played on two NCAA-DII tournament teams and consistently recorded high assist and free throw numbers.
She then transitioned to Pittsburgh State (Kansas) as a graduate assistant and assistant coach. Here, she developed her passion for coaching.
“When I went to Pitt State, I was getting a feel for if I really wanted to do this or not,” Miller said. “And right away the answer was yes. I feel like that I have the ability to lead.”
Her love for the sport came from her coaching lineage, all the way back to her grandfather, who coached college basketball. Miller originally thought she would follow in her dad’s footsteps; coach high school basketball and go into business simultaneously. Then she fell in love with college basketball.
“I like helping and nurturing young women and I feel like that’s just where God called me to be,” Miller said. “ I feel like he’s called me now and this is the time and this is the place to do it at.”
Cedarville University is not new to scouting for talented coaches, as they replaced Kari Hoffman in 2021 with former coach Jason Smith. At that time, the school approached Miller about the head coaching job. However, Miller felt she had unfinished business at Drury as a coach.
“I wanted to win a national championship, we got second,” said Miller. “ I thought we would get back there that next year. Obviously, you know, God has different plans and it didn’t work out, but I just wasn’t ready.”
Now, after finishing at Drury with an 87-9 overall record, Miller is prepared to step into her first head coaching job.
“I will bring an exciting style of basketball to watch and to play,” said Miller. “In order to do so, you must have a team that is athletic, quick and determined.”
That team is ready for stability. Anna Landing, sophomore center for the Lady Jackets, has already played under two different coaches.
“It’s hard to go through another coaching change but we’re excited,” Landing said. “Coach definitely seems incredible at basketball and a firm believer and it seems like her values align with ours, so we’re excited.”
With the team finishing at 7-19 last year, there’s a lot of room for growth and excitement within the program in the years ahead.
Maggie Fipps is a sophomore Journalism student and the Sports Editor of Cedars. She enjoys playing the piano and thrifting, and you may spot her around campus sporting Packers gear head to toe.
Photo by Logan Howard