UConn's New 'Utility Man'
So what exactly will Glen Miller's responsibilities be as director of basketball administration at UConn? Well, it seems it hasn't been 100-percent defined just yet.
He’ll be a liaison between the program and the athletics department’s compliance and business offices. He'll be involved in staff meetings, drawing up game plans, X’s and O’s, that sort of stuff.
In short, he'll be "kind of like a utility guy. I can cover a lot of areas."
Two areas he won't be able to cover, however, are on-floor coaching (in games or practices) and recruiting -- things Miller has been doing for over 20 years as an assistant (UConn) or head coach (Connecticut College, Brown and Penn).
“No doubt, I’m going to miss those things,” Miller confessed. “But a lot of duties that I have are things I’ve been involved with as an assistant coach or a head coach. I have a lot of experience in those areas, and those areas are vital to a program’s success. I can have an impact, even not being on the floor and out on the road recruiting.”
“On top of that,” he added, “I still have the experience and qualifications to recruit and coach on the floor if, down the road, a situation presents itself."
Indeed, this is Miller's chance to get back into the college basketball coaching world after being unceremoniously bounced from it last December, when Penn fired him in the midst of its season (and an 0-7 start).
“It is what it is,” Miller said on Friday. “It’s a step backwards, the first time I’ve had to experience a step back like this, but I’m just very excited to get this opportunity. I’m looking at it as I’m not on the floor coaching this year, but I’ll have a chance to help in a lot of other areas, and it will enhance me as a coach.”
It's hardly an unprecedented "step backwards," if you will. Several other coaches at successful (albeit low-major) Division 1 programs have resurfaced in similar positions at bigger programs. Dennis Wolff, the longtime head coach at Boston University, is now director of basketball operations at Virginia Tech. And Barry Hinson, who had a long stint as head man at Missouri State, hooked up with Kansas two seasons ago as director of external relations before being promoted to director of basketball ops recently.
“It’s a profession that is very rewarding, a lot of fun, but it’s very difficult to get jobs,” Miller noted. “If you stub your toe once, you have to have the opportunity to get back into it. Right now, I’m in a great situation.”
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