New Mexico State head men’s basketball coach Chris Jans recently tabbed James Miller as his new assistant coach, filling the gap left open when associate head coach Lou Gudino left for Wichita State.
“Coach Miller is a young coach on the rise,” Jans said. “He has a wonderful reputation in college basketball and has been around success his whole career. James’ ability to cultivate relationships while being an excellent teacher of the game is a great combination. We are thrilled he and his family are joining our program.”
Miller comes to Las Cruces after spending the 2017-18 season on the North Texas staff that won the 2018 College Basketball Invitational title while also posting the nation’s fifth-best win-improvement with 12 games. The 20-18 overall record last year was the first 20-win season at UNT since the 2011-12 campaign.
Prior to his time in Denton, Miller was an assistant under Grant McCasland at Arkansas State in his first year at the helm. While in Jonesboro, Ark., he helped the Red Wolves to the nation’s second-largest turnaround in the NCAA with a 10-win improvement in 2016-17.
During the 2015-16 season, Miller was an assistant at Omaha. The Mavericks participated in just their second postseason tournament since making the move to Division I with an appearance in the College Basketball Invitational that. The Omaha offense was ranked fourth national in scoring offense (85.3 PPG), fifth in steals per game (9.4) and 12th in turnovers forced per game (15.8) and was just 1-of-3 teams in the Summit League to reach postseason play.
Miller is quite familiar with the Land of Enchantment, having been the head men’s basketball coach at New Mexico Junior College from 2012-15 after spending the previous three season as an assistant (2009-12). During his tenure as the head coach, the Thunderbirds were 77-23 overall with three-straight postseason appearances. Miller also had 21 players move on to play at Division I programs during that time span that included Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and NC State to name a few.
In his final season with NMJC, the Thunderbirds went 23-9 overall and advanced to the semifinals of the NJCAA Region V Tournament. Miller’s first season at the helm saw the Thunderbirds capture the Region V Championship and earn their first national tournament berth in 17 years.
He spent four seasons (2005-09) at CSU Pueblo before serving as an intern with the Arizona State men’s basketball team out of college.
Miller was also a student manager with the men’s basketball team at Colorado State where he graduated with bachelor’s degree in 2005. He also received his master’s degree from Northern Colorado in 2007. Miller and his wife Darlene have two daughters, Mia and Maci.